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Thursday, April 25, 2002

Kotomitsuki out of summer basho

Sekiwake Kotomitsuki will pull out of the upcoming Summer Grand Sumo Tournament after failing to recover from a broken jaw sustained in March, sumo sources said Tuesday.

Stablemaster Sadogatake told reporters that competing at the May 12-26 meet at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan is now "out of the question" for Kotomitsuki, adding that the top priority for the autumn champion is to get back in shape for the Nagoya tournament in July.

"All of his home fans are waiting to see him wrestle in Nagoya so the most important thing is that he starts trying to get back into top condition," Sadogatake said.

Kotomitsuki was discharged Tuesday from a hospital in Chiba Prefecture where he had undergone surgery to reinforce the fractured jaw last month.

Missing the entire summer tournament will likely see Kotomitsuki drop to the mid-maegashira ranks when the Japan Sumo Association releases its officials rankings for the Nagoya meet.

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