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Wakanohana Drops Out, Takanohana Shares Lead with Three Others

January 10, 1996

TOKYO (AP) _ A liver ailment forced Wakanohana out of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Wednesday, ending his hopes of joining his kid brother Takanohana as the only siblings to become grand champions.

Wakanohana’s withdrawal came one day after American grand champion Akebono, or Chad Rowan from Hawaii, dropped out with a knee injury.

Takanohana won his fourth straight bout Wednesday and shared first place with three others.

American champion Musashimaru, or Fiamalu Penitani from Hawaii, pushed out Misugisato (1-3) for his third victory against one defeat.

Konishiki, or Salevaa Fuauli Atisanoe from Hawaii, bulldozed out Kotobeppu (1-3) for his third victory against one defeat.

An official of the Sumo Association said doctors reported that Wakanohana, 24, entered a hospital Wednesday and needs three weeks of treatment for his liver ailment.

Wakanohana’s condition had been in doubt after he spent four days in a hospital late last year with the flu.

But he entered anyway, in hopes of winning the second consecutive tournament title that could lead to promotion to grand champion.

Daiki, or American Percy Kipapa, drove Sunahama, or countryman William Hopkins, to the ring’s edge and threw him down. Both are 1-3.

Yamato, or American George Kalima, fell to 1-3 as he was pulled down by No. 12-ranked Otsukasa (3-1).

In the top junior division, Sentoryu, or American Henry Armstrong Miller, toppled Okamoto.

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