Sunday, 11th January 2009
Sumo champ to return 'this weekend'
Grand champion sumo wrestler Asashoryu is due to make his return to the rind at this weekend's New Year Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo.
A career-threatening elbow injury meant Asashoryu missed the entire Kyushu meet, reports the Associated Press.
His stablemaster Takasago told reporters: "He is gearing up to wrestle and you can say he will appear [at the tournment]."
In a practice session today (January 9th), Asashoryu won eight out of 11 bouts against the newly-promoted ozeki wrestler Harumafauji, formerly known by the moniker Ama.
Asashoryu commented: "It was good practice for both of us. [Practice] is something that I have to get out of the way."
ABC.new.au reports that a growing number of foreign sumo wrestlers are outnumbering those native to Japan.
The 15-day New Year Grand Sumo Tournament opens at Ryogoku Kokugikan on Sunday and will be the first major sumo competition of 2009.
Related news stories:
Sumo star warned over drug injections (9th November 2011)
Pilot shows there's life after sumo (16th October 2008)
Top Japan sumo wrestler retires (6th October 2008)
Yokozuna Asashoryu suffers first-day sumo defeat (12th May 2008)
Former sumo star sports police badge (13th September 2011)