Wrestlers from the three stables that missed the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament due to coronavirus infections had their medical checkups Friday as they stepped up preparations for the upcoming March grand tournament.

Sixty-five wrestlers from four stables missed the entire January meet due to the coronavirus, with those testing negative also asked to quarantine during the 15-day tournament.

This prevented wrestlers living in condominiums from exercising as usual. Those rikishi were required to abstain from performing leg stomps, a sumo training staple, out of consideration for their neighbors.

Twelve members of the Arashio stable, including the stablemaster, tested positive. Rank-and-filer Wakatakakage, who had a fever and sore throat after testing positive late last year, was buoyant, having resumed training early this month.

“I’ll be alright. I’ve been able to train well,” the 26-year-old maegashira said following his checkup at Ryogoku Kokugikan. “I’ll be doing my best again in the next tournament. I want to show how well I can do on the raised ring.”

Hakuho, from Miyagino stable, tested positive before the New Year meet, but the yokozuna, who has missed the last three tournaments and the final two days of the July tourney before that, is now back in training, a sumo source said.

Enho, a second-tier juryo wrestler from the same stable who has not tested positive, said his fitness level “is more or less back to where it was,” as he prepares to try and fight his way back into the top-tier makuuchi division in March.

Brazilian Kaisei, who fights out of the Tomozuna stable is also working to get back to normal.

“The first thing is to thoroughly get into shape,” he said.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.