Sumo: Hakuho to miss Autumn meet with stable barred over COVID cases

Kyodo -- Sep 07
Yokozuna Hakuho and his fellow stablemates will miss the entire Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament starting this weekend after two wrestlers at Miyagino stable tested positive for COVID-19, the Japan Sumo Association said Monday.

Nineteen-year-old wrestler Hokuseiho in the second division of juryo tested positive on Wednesday before further tests on Sunday found that another lower-division wrestler was positive.

The JSA's communications director Shibatayama said wrestlers, including record 45-time winner Hakuho and Ishiura, also fighting in the top makuuchi division, are in quarantine at home.

The JSA has so far barred entire stables from participating if any member tested positive within two weeks of a 15-day grand tournament's first day.

The Autumn meet will start on Sunday at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, and Hakuho's absence boosts the chances that the new yokozuna, Terunofuji, can mark his promotion to the highest rank with a title. Hakuho denied him his third straight Emperor's Cup in July.