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Monday, Nov. 17, 2003

Musashimaru explains his reasons for bowing out

FUKUOKA (AP) In his first public statement since announcing his retirement from sumo, Musashimaru said Sunday he was unable to uphold the responsibility of a grand champion.

Musashimaru, the most successful foreign-born wrestler in sumo, decided to retire Saturday after suffering his fourth loss at the ongoing Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.

"I couldn't maintain the responsibility that a grand champion has," Musashimaru said at a press conference. "That was the main reason I decided to retire."

The Samoan-born yokozuna, the winner of 12 titles, has struggled unsuccessfully for two years with a wrist injury.

"The cause was my wrist," added Musashimaru. "The injury left me with virtually no power in my left shoulder."

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