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Sumo: Japan welcomes another Mongolian grand champ

Japan's sumo authority on Wednesday promoted a Mongolian wrestler to the top rank, consolidating the land-locked nation's grip on the ancient sport. The sumo association unanimously approved the promotion of 28-year-old Kakuryu to the rank of yokozuna, or grand champion, after he crashed through his opponents with a 14-1 record at the most recent tournament. He joins two other Mongolians who are also at the sport's highest level.

Sumo: Rising Arab wants to pitch 'ugly sport' at home

The first professional sumo wrestler from the Arab world is hoping to use his meteoric rise up the ranks of the sport he once called "ugly" to spread it throughout Africa and the Middle East. "Day by day, my fans in the Middle East are growing more and more," said Abdelrahman Ahmed Shaalan, often called the first Muslim to enter the ring. "At the beginning, they said 'what's sumo?' and 'why did you choose sumo?'" the 22-year-old Egyptian, who goes by the name of "Osunaarashi" (Great Sandstorm), said Wednesday.

Sumo: Rising Arab wants to pitch 'ugly sport' at home

The first professional sumo wrestler from the Arab world is hoping to use his meteoric rise up the ranks of the sport he once called "ugly" to spread it throughout Africa and the Middle East. "Day by day, my fans in the Middle East are growing more and more," said Abdelrahman Ahmed Shaalan, often called the first Muslim to enter the ring. "At the beginning, they said 'what's sumo?' and 'why did you choose sumo?'" the 22-year-old Egyptian, who goes by the name of "Osunaarashi" (Great Sandstorm), said Wednesday.

Sumo: Grand champ Harumafuji out of New Year tournament

Japan's premier sumo tournament will go ahead without one of its grand champions for the first time in five years, officials said Friday, with Harumafuji sidelined by an ankle injury. Harumafuji, one of two reigning "yokozuna" will skip the New Year tournament due to start at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan on Sunday, the Japan Sumo Association said. The 29-year-old Mongolian, who reached the sport's top rank in September 2012, twisted his right ankle and partially tore ligaments when he slipped while running in training in late December, his stablemaster Isegahama said.

Sumo: Grand champs flex muscles in New Year offering

Sumo's two grand champions, all but naked in a chilly winter drizzle, performed a pre-match ritual at a grand shrine in Tokyo Wednesday as a traditional New Year offering to Shinto gods. Some 2,800 visitors watched the two Mongolian behemoths pound the ground with their feet and flex their muscles in the front yard of the main sanctuary at Meiji Shrine.

Sumo: Grand champs flex muscles in New Year offering

Sumo's two grand champions, all but naked in a chilly winter drizzle, performed a pre-match ritual at a grand shrine in Tokyo Wednesday as a traditional New Year offering to Shinto gods. Some 2,800 visitors watched the two Mongolian behemoths pound the ground with their feet and flex their muscles in the front yard of the main sanctuary at Meiji Shrine.

The living dead bring Tokyo to life for Halloween

A zombie army marched on Tokyo Tower for Halloween on Thursday, with a one-time sumo grand champion bringing some weight to the gathering of the dead. Around 1,200 people turned out in full make-up to roam the streets in an event organised by a television channel and a local beauty college. At the front was Akebono, sumo's first ever foreign yokozuna -- grand champion -- whose towering frame dominated the sport in the 1990s. Behind him stood enough sickly and wounded undead to give unsuspecting shoppers lasting nightmares.

Sumo: Egypt Muslim ready to fight through Ramadan

The Arab world's first professional sumo wrestler says fasting for Ramadan will give him courage during his inaugural tournament in the famously weighty elite ranks of the sport. Egyptian Osunaarashi (Great Sandstorm) believes observing the Muslim holy month, which begins Tuesday, will boost his performance, despite not being able to eat during the day. "I will have a greater fighting spirit during Ramadan," said the wrestler, whose real name is Abdelrahman Ahmed Shaalan.

Sumo: Wrestler cleared of match-fixing, raring to go

A sumo wrestler who successfully fought match-fixing allegations vowed Friday he will come back fighting at the Nagoya tournament, which starts this weekend. "I will go all out," Sokokurai told Japanese media at his training facility in Nagoya, central Japan, as he geared up for his first official bout in more than two years. "My condition is not bad," said the 29-year-old from the Inner Mongolia region of China, ahead of the 15-day tournament. "I have no fear. I have done what I should do," added the wrestler, whose real name is Enhetubuxin.

Sumo: New Mongolian grand champ sees good future

Newly-crowned sumo grand champion Harumafuji said Monday he sees a good future for the ancient but scandal-tainted Japanese sport as well as for his own career as a top fighter. Harumafuji was promoted last year to become sumo's first new grand champion for five years. He is the third Mongolian in succession to reach the sport's top rank, or yokozuna. The 28-year-old said he adheres to a strict training regimen not only to build up his strength but also to become an admired yokozuna who can give inspiration and hope to his audience.
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