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5 more sumo wrestlers test positive for coronavirus, several stables to miss Jan. tourney

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mainichi– Five sumo wrestlers have tested positive for the coronavirus ahead of the January Grand Sumo Tournament set to begin on Jan. 10, the Japan Sumo Association announced on Jan. 9.

In PCR tests conducted on association members ahead of the tournament, Chiyoshoma, a maegashira-ranked wrestler from the Kokonoe Stable, along with juryo wrestler Chiyootori and two of his stable-mates in the makushita division or below were confirmed infected. One other wrestler from the Tomozuna Stable not wrestling above the makushita division also tested positive, the association said.

The association decided that all wrestlers from both stables would sit out the tournament, along with wrestlers from the Miyagino Stable — home to yokozuna Hakuho, who tested positive on Jan. 5 — and the Arashio Stable, which saw 12 infected with the coronavirus at the end of last year. The tournament itself is due to go ahead as scheduled.

Altogether, 16 wrestlers of juryo rank or higher are now set to skip the tournament. This includes the yokozuna Kakuryu, who abstained following a back injury.

(Japanese original by Hironobu Murakoso, Sports News Department)