Yokozuna Kisenosato withdraws from Spring Basho

Kyodo

Kisenosato, one of three yokozuna in the latest banzuke rankings, will withdraw from the upcoming Spring Grand Sumo Tournament, his stablemaster Tagonoura said Thursday.

Tagonoura said the 31-year old, has yet to recover from a chest injury, which forced him to delay preparations for the tournament, which starts on Sunday at Edion Arena Osaka.

“He hasn’t yet recovered from the injury to the left of his chest,” Tagonoura said.

“He wants to compete but he says he wants to step into the ring in the proper manner. I want him to fight like a yokozuna and put on a performance that will convince everyone. In order to do that, he needs to get treated, train harder and develop a stronger mind,” he said.

Kisenosato becomes the first yokozuna since Musashimaru in 2002-2003 to miss all or part of six straight tournaments.

Takanohana holds the record for consecutive basho missed by a yokozuna since the six-tournament system was established in 1958, having sat out seven straight meets from 2001 to 2002.