Earlier today (Tuesday, 15 March), it was announced that Mongolian-born Yokozuna Hakuho has withdrawn from the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament due to concerns about his previously injured right knee.
The 36-year-old, who holds the all-time record of 44 top-division titles, has missed all or part of five consecutive grand tournaments.
With fellow Mongolian-born Yokozuna Kakuryu having already pulled out before opening day, the ongoing 15-day meet at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan will proceed without a grand champion competing.
Both yokozuna have been cautioned by the Japan Sumo Association over their repeated absences.
Following endoscopic surgery on his right knee last August, Hakuho had planned to return at the New Year tournament, but was forced to sit it out due to a positive coronavirus test.