Sumo

Injured Kakuryu pulls out of July meet after Day 1 loss

Kyodo

Yokozuna Kakuryu withdrew from the July Grand Sumo Tournament with a right elbow injury on Monday, a day after the relocated meet began in Tokyo.

According to his Michinoku stablemaster, Kakuryu suffered the injury when he slipped trying to execute a leg sweep against No. 1 maegashira Endo during Sunday's opening-day bouts.

"When he fell in his match against Endo, he fell from the right side and hurt his elbow," Michinoku said. "He also got hurt during practice on Monday (July 13). I think he is worried about hitting it (and further aggravating the injury), so it's best to fully recover.

It was the first time since the Japan Sumo Association started announcing winning techniques in 1955 that a yokozuna lost by koshikudake, where a wrestler inadvertently falls backward without being engaged by his opponent.

Michinoku said he expects Kakuryu to be out for the remainder of the tournament to allow enough time for the damaged elbow to properly heal. The 15-day meet usually held in Nagoya was moved to Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan to limit travel during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 34-year-old Mongolian withdrew for the 16th time in his career and first since pulling out of January's New Year meet, leaving Hakuho — who opened the basho with a win — as the sole remaining yokozuna.

Kakuryu's scheduled opponent on Monday, komusubi Daieisho, will be awarded a win by default.

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