The Japan Sumo Association said Saturday a total of 28 wrestlers, all from outside the top two divisions, will miss the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament starting this weekend after a pair of coaches tested positive for the coronavirus.

All of the wrestlers are from the Yamahibiki and Onoe stables, whose respective elders, Onogawa and Otowayama, returned positive tests on Thursday.

The wrestlers, ranked in the third-tier makushita division or below, tested negative for the virus but will sit out the entire 15-day meet opening Sunday at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.

The JSA carried out polymerase chain reaction tests on all wrestlers and staff ahead of the tournament to ensure it can be hosted safely in the capital, which remains under a state of emergency to curb the spread of the virus.

The same tests were administered before the New Year meet in January, leading to the withdrawal of a total of 65 wrestlers from four stables for virus-related reasons.

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.


Your news needs your support

Since the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, The Japan Times has been providing free access to crucial news on the impact of the novel coronavirus as well as practical information about how to cope with the pandemic. Please consider subscribing today so we can continue offering you up-to-date, in-depth news about Japan.