Asanoyama Withdraws from New Year Grand Sumo Tournament after Strong Start

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Asanoyama, left, loses to Tamawashi at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo on Sunday.

Former ozeki Asanoyama, currently a No. 7 maegashira, pulled out of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday, the day after being injured while suffering his first loss of the tournament.

Asanoyama had been the lone undefeated wrestler after the first seven days of the tournament at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan when he seemed to have injured his right leg when he lost to No. 10 maegashira Tamawashi on the eighth day Sunday.

It marks the second consecutive tournament that Asanoyama will miss part of a tournament. He skipped the first seven days of the Kyushu Tournament in November last year due to a left calf injury.

No. 14 maegashira Onosho, one of four wrestlers who started the day tied for the lead with one loss, was slated to face Asanoyama on Monday and received the victory by default.

No. 3 maegashira Hokutofuji also notified the Japan Sumo Association of his decision to withdraw on Monday. The number of absentees in the uppermost makuuchi division now numbers six.