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Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Final 'dohyo-iri' for Takanohana

YOKOSUKA, Kanagawa Pref. (Kyodo) Former yokozuna Takanohana, who retired from sumo in January with 22 Emperor's Cups, performed his final "dohyo-iri" ring-purification ritual in Yokosuka on Sunday, the final day of the Japan Sumo Association's customary spring sumo practice tour.

Amid cheers by some 5,000 fans, the 30-year-old former grand champion, who has been coaching at his father's Futagoyama stable since his retirement, performed the Unryu-style rite with yokozuna Musashimaru serving as sword bearer and fellow grand champion Asashoryu as usher.

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