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Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2006

Losing wrestler punches foe in face

A wrestler who used to belong to sumo's elite second-tier punched his opponent in the face after losing a bout the previous day in the lower tier makushita division at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament, sumo officials said Monday.

Kotokanyu, a 40-year-old native of Hokkaido who once wrestled in the juryo division, lost a match after exchanging slaps with his 19-year-old opponent Ikioi on Sunday.

Still heated from the loss, Kotokanyu wrapped a towel around his fist in the locker room at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan and punched Ikioi in the face, sumo officials said.

Sadogatake, Kotokanyu's stable elder, apologized to Japan Sumo Association Chairman Kitanoumi and Isenoumi, Ikioi's stable elder, for the incident on Monday.

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