Sumo: Yokozuna Kakuryu retires after missing five straight tournaments – Kyodo

Mongolian-born grand sumo champion Yokozuna Kakuryu performs the New Year's ring-entering rite at the annual celebration for the New Year at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: Mongolian-born grand sumo champion Yokozuna Kakuryu performs the New Year's ring-entering rite at the annual celebration for the New Year at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo, Japan January 9, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

March 24, 2021

(Reuters) – Sumo grand champion Kakuryu has retired after missing five consecutive tournaments, Kyodo News reported on Wednesday, leaving Hakuho as the sport’s only active yokozuna.

Mongolia-born Kakuryu, 35, made his professional debut in 2001 and reached the sport’s highest ranking of yokozuna in 2014, becoming the 71st wrestler to do so.

Elbow, leg and back injuries have limited his participation in tournaments recently and he was given a warning in November over his lack of activity in the ring.

Kakuryu, who has acquired Japanese citizenship, won the last of his six championships in 2019.

Kyodo said his retirement had been approved by the Japan Sumo Association.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)