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Thursday, July 4, 2002

Takanohana may miss basho

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Yokozuna Takanohana, who has missed the last six sumo basho, appeared Wednesday likely to sit out the upcoming Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament before a scheduled announcement by sumo elder Futagoyama on Friday.

"I will make an announcement the day after tomorrow (Friday)," said Futagoyama.

Pairings for the first two days of bouts for the 15-day meet getting under way Sunday at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium are made Friday and stable masters must inform the pairings committee which wrestlers are being entered by then.

Since stable masters rarely hold press conferences to announce that their wrestlers are competing, Futagoyama's remark fueled speculation that Takanohana would miss the start, at least, of his seventh straight tournament.

"I want to discuss the matter (with Takanohana)," Futagoyama told reporters. The winner of 22 Emperor's Cups, meanwhile, said "There's nothing I can say about the situation now. Still, even when I feel pretty good (in practice), there are doubts (about the condition of my knee)."

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