NAGOYA – Takayasu became the latest ozeki to withdraw from the ongoing Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Wednesday, meaning all four wrestlers currently at the sport’s second-highest rank have pulled out of the fourth meet of the year.
With five days remaining in the 15-day event at Dolphins Arena, Takayasu, who injured his left elbow during his eighth-day bout against sekiwake Tamawashi, joins a list that includes Takakeisho, Tochinoshin and Goeido.
“He was in no condition for sumo,” said Takayasu’s stablemaster Taganoura. “I will focus on having him ready for the next basho.”
According to the Japan Sumo Association, it is the first time since the Showa Era started in 1926 that four or more ozeki are missing from a single tournament.
The 29-year-old Takayasu, whose father is Japanese and mother from the Philippines, secured a winning record on Tuesday, improving to 8-2 after beating rank-and-filer Meisei. He forfeits his scheduled bout against yokozuna Hakuho on Wednesday.
He was last forced to withdraw from a tournament last summer and this is the fifth time he has had to do so in his career.
Takakeisho, who is in danger of demotion from ozeki, withdrew before the opening day citing a right knee injury. Tochinoshin and Goeido, both struggling for form, pulled out on the sixth day and eighth day, respectively.
Elsewhere, 15th-ranked maegashira Kaisei also withdrew on Wednesday. The Brazilian-born wrestler was fighting with a right arm injury and had managed to pick up just one win in 10 bouts so far, a record that will most likely see him drop down to the juryo division for the next tournament.
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