During last month's sumo tournament in Nagoya, Mongolian Yokozuna Asashoryu pulled out on the 6th day, citing an elbow injury. But insiders say Asashoryu might have pulled out of the tourney after hearing talk that a sumo tour to Mongolia -- scheduled for this month -- might be canceled.
“As soon as he heard that news from reporters, Asashoryu requested permission to withdraw from the Nagaoya tournament,” says one insider at the Takasago sumo stable to which the yokozuna belongs.
“He suddenly told his stablemaster he would have to withdraw from the tournament to take medication at a hot spring spa in Mongolia. However, the stablemaster told him he couldn't go back to Mongolia."
Asashoryu's company in Mongolia is supposed to host the tour. Former Mongolian sumo wrestler Kyokushuzan, who is currently a politician in Mongolian, visited Japan on July 17 and advised the Japan Sumo Association to postpone the tour due to the unstable political situation in the country after the general election.
A sports reporter says, “Asashoryu asked politicians to send letters to the Sumo Association to request that the tour not be postponed. Finally, the association made the decision to conduct the tour as scheduled.”
However, Kyokushuzan has been trying to get the tour postponed. “We should not risk the safety of sumo wrestlers in Mongolia. I also think it's too tacky to hold Japan's national sport in a circus tent that Asashoryu owns.” (Translated by Taro Fujimoto)© Japan Today