Japan’s top sumo wrestler tests coronavirus positive
Published: 02:26 PM, 5 January 2021
Japan's top-ranked sumo wrestler Hakuho has tested positive for coronavirus, the Japan Sumo Association (JSA) said.
According to JSA, the Mongolian-born grand champion took a Covid-19 test after losing his sense of smell.
The news comes as Japan considers declaring a state of emergency in and around Tokyo, where virus cases have surged. It has imposed relatively relaxed restrictions so far, with a more contained outbreak than some countries.
Activities like sumo wrestling have continued despite the pandemic, but cases have emerged in the sport too. In April Shobushi, whose real name is Kiyotaka Suetake, became the first sumo wrestler to test positive for the virus. His condition quickly worsened and he died due to multiple organ failure. In May, a 28-year-old Japanese sumo wrestler died from organ failure caused by the virus.
Hakuho - the longest-serving yokozuna or top-ranked wrestler in Japan - had been preparing for the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament, due to start in Tokyo on Sunday.
He will now seek the advice of specialists while the other wrestlers in his stable will also be tested, JSA said. - BBC