• Kyodo

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Longtime maegashira Tokitenku, who has been battling malignant lymphoma, will retire and become a sumo elder, the Japan Sumo Association announced Friday.

The 36-year-old Mongolian-born Tokitenku competed in 63 grand sumo tournaments, including three at the rank of komusubi. On Thursday, the JSA recognized his status as sumo elder with his Tokitsukaze stable.

Tokitenku obtained Japanese citizenship in January 2014. His illness was diagnosed last autumn.

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