Yokozuna Terunofuji Withdraws from Sept. Sumo Tournament

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Terunofuji, right, performs contact drills with Kirishima at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo on Sept. 2.

Yokozuna Terunofuji has withdrawn from the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament, which is set to kick off Sunday at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo.

Terunofuji did not appear on a list of pairings for the first day, making it the second tournament in a row that he has missed. There will be no yokozuna at the upcoming tournament, as Terunofuji is currently the only wrestler at the highest rank.

After missing three consecutive tournaments, Terunofuji, 31, of the Isegahama stable, won the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament in May. He pulled out midway through the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament in July, citing various reasons, including a lumbar herniated disc. He took part in the summer regional tour, performing the yokozuna’s dohyo-iri ceremonial ring-entering sequence, but did not take part in the tournament due to lingering back pain.

There was speculation that Terunofuji might withdraw because he opted out of last Saturday’s practice bouts, which were observed by members of the Yokozuna Deliberation Council.