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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Ex-komusubi Wakanami dies

Kyodo News

Former komusubi Wakanami, who won a tournament title as a rank-and-file maegashira sumo wrestler in 1968, died of cardiac failure at a hospital in Tokyo on Monday, his family said Tuesday. He was 66.

Wakanami, whose real name was Jun Tomiyama, made his debut in professional sumo in 1957 and the highlight of the popular pint-sized wrestler came when he won the 1968 Spring Grand Sumo Tournament with a 13-2 record as an eighth-ranked maegashira.

The Ibaraki Prefecture native spent 52 tournaments in the top-tier makuuchi division and retired in 1972 before becoming a sumo elder and an official of the Japan Sumo Association.

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