• Kyodo


Ozeki Takayasu has pulled out of the ongoing Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament with three days remaining because of a thigh injury, his stablemaster Tagonoura said Friday.

The 27-year-old wrestler at sumo’s second-highest rank becomes the eighth wrestler in the top makuuchi division to withdraw from the 15-day meet at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, the casualty list including three yokozuna.

He sustained the injury when he lost to third-ranked maegashira Hokutofuji in Thursday’s penultimate bout and will require about three weeks to recover, Tagonoura said.

It is the second straight meet Takayasu has withdrawn from after having injured his right thigh during the autumn meet in September. Takayasu, whose father is Japanese and mother from the Philippines, picked up his eighth win on Wednesday to escape “kadoban.”

A kadoban ozeki needs to finish with a winning record in order to avoid demotion in rank.

“He injured the same area he hurt at the last meet. He is able to walk but it’s difficult for him to wrestle. I wanted him to fight till the end but we decided (to have him pull out) because we didn’t want him to aggravate the injury,” Tagonoura said.

Takayasu forfeits his 13th day bout against fellow ozeki Goeido. Hakuho, the only remaining yokozuna at the meet, has the sole lead with an 11-1 record.

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