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First rikishi dies from coronavirus.

Discussion in 'Sports' started by Swami, May 14, 2020.

  1. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    Sumo wrestler Shobushi, 28, is sport’s first coronavirus death
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    Written by Kyodo
    Published: 13 May 2020
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    A 28-year-old sumo wrestler from the sport's fourth-highest division died early Wednesday morning due to multiple organ failure caused by the novel coronavirus, the Japan Sumo Association said.

    Shobushi, whose real name was Kiyotaka Suetake, is the first sumo wrestler to die from the pneumonia-causing virus. He is also thought to be the first person in their 20s to die from the virus in Japan.

    The Yamanashi Prefecture native became the first sumo wrestler to test positive for the novel coronavirus on April 10. According to the JSA, his condition worsened on April 19 and he was treated at an intensive care unit at a hospital in Tokyo.

    Shobushi made his professional debut in 2007 out of the Takadagawa stable and reached the No. 11 rank in the sandanme division.

    "I can only imagine how hard it must have been, battling illness for over a month, but like a wrestler he endured it bravely and fought the disease until the end," JSA Chairman Hakkaku said. "I just want him to rest peacefully now."

    The Takadagawa stablemaster and Shobushi's stablemate Hakuyozan also tested positive for the coronavirus but both have already been discharged from hospital.

    Later Wednesday, the JSA announced it would carry out antibody tests to check for a history of coronavirus infection for association members who want to be examined.

    The testing, expected to be completed in about a month, will give the JSA a general idea of infection within the association. Using that information and guidance from experts, the association can adopt countermeasures as it seeks to hold tournaments in the future.

    The Summer Grand Sumo Tournament scheduled to take place from May 24 to June 7 at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan was cancelled earlier this month in order to slow the spread of the virus.

    The Nagoya Grand Tournament, set to start on July 19, has been moved to Tokyo, where the JSA is looking to hold it behind closed doors.

    In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the sport's most recent event -- the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament at Edion Arena Osaka in March -- was the first in history to be held without spectators.

    Swami
     
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  2. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens 'The Lovely Michelle' EXP: 11 Years

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    Very sad to hear. Even a young man can die from this dangerous virus.
     
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  3. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    Yes, and it seems to be that his stable has a major problem with the virus at the moment.

    Swami
     
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  4. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens 'The Lovely Michelle' EXP: 11 Years

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    Isn't this the same stable where Ryuden and Kagayaki reside?
     
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  5. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    Yes both belong to same stable.

    Swami
     
  6. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    JSA begins coronavirus testing for wrestlers, stablemasters
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    Written by Kyodo
    Published: 19 May 2020
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    Forty-three people from two stables were tested Monday, with the JSA expecting to complete testing in about a month for everyone in the association who wishes to be tested.

    According to sumo elder and JSA public relations manager Shibatayama, around 50 members from two to three stables will be tested each day.

    By detecting the presence of antibodies in the blood, the tests give an indication of whether the person being tested has previously been exposed to coronavirus infection.

    The testing program follows the death last week of 28-year-old lower-division wrestler Shobushi, whose real name was Kiyotaka Suetake. He is the first sumo wrestler to die from the pneumonia-causing virus.

    His stablemaster, Takadagawa, and Hakuyozan, a juryo-division wrestler from the same stable, were also among seven JSA members in total known to have been infected with the virus.

    The Summer Grand Sumo Tournament, scheduled to take place from May 24-June 7 at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan, was canceled earlier this month to slow the spread of the virus.

    The Nagoya Grand Tournament, set to start on July 19, has been moved to Tokyo, where the JSA is looking to hold it behind closed doors.

    Swami
     
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  7. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens 'The Lovely Michelle' EXP: 11 Years

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    It's good they are addressing this issue but it was too late for Shobushi.
     
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  8. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    Very true.

    Swami
     
  9. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    Coronavirus fallout rocks sumo world
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    Written by Kyodo
    Published: 23 May 2020
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    The sumo world is grappling with its latest crisis as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, which has claimed the life of a 28-year-old wrestler and forced the cancellation of the sport’s showpiece May tournament.

    Shobushi, who competed in the sport’s fourth-tier sandanme division, was the first rikishi to test positive for the pneumonia-causing virus on April 10. The wrestler, who had diabetes, was in intensive care for nearly a month before dying of multiple organ failure on May 13.

    Around a week before his death, the Japan Sumo Association announced the cancellation of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament following the government’s extension of its nationwide state of emergency in response to the outbreak. “With the spread of the disease, just about everything is spoiled”, lamented sumo elder Shibatayama, the JSA’s public relations manager.

    The six grand tournaments held each year are the lifeblood of professional sumo. As the sport’s biggest stages, they allow wrestlers to reap the rewards of their arduous training by showcasing their skills and, potentially, climbing the rankings. As former wrestlers, JSA Chairman Hakkaku and other executives of the association know the value of competition, and had been seeking to hold this year’s Summer Basho as scheduled between May 24 and June 7 at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.

    After March’s Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka was was held behind closed doors — a first in the sport’s history — JSA officials said they had introduced countermeasures, including testing, to allow the summer meet to go ahead. To avoid the risk of infection, the masuseki boxed enclosures, which usually accommodate four people, were to be limited to one spectator each, with second-floor seats to be spaced apart in accordance with social distancing guidelines.

    One sumo elder involved said, “Even with a full house, that’s only about 3,000 people. The image of vacant seats really stood out. Revenue would fall, of course, but we wanted at least some people to watch sumo.” The hopeful mood was dampened on April 7, however, after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency for Tokyo, Osaka and five other prefectures due to a spike in coronavirus infections.

    While the meet might still have gone ahead without spectators, six JSA members tested positive for the virus later in the month, prompting several to admit it was “no longer the time for a grand tournament,” resulting in the third cancellation in sumo history.

    Wrestlers have been struggling to train amid severe restrictions, as practicing outside of one’s stable was prohibited to prevent further infection. After Shobushi’s infection was revealed on April 10, the JSA called on its rikishito practice self-restraint and avoid physical contact or wrestling as much as possible.

    Normally, Hakkaku preaches the importance of sumo’s indispensable pushing drills which “give you that extra one or two steps of horsepower.” But with the government urging social distancing, stables were asked to figure out how to keep wrestlers in shape on their own.

    Yokozuna Hakuho, who commutes to his stable from his home, has been limited to basic exercises like the shiko leg-raising and stomping technique used to build lower-body strength. The Mongolian-born great practices at his training room when no one else is around, and turns on the facility’s electric fans to try to ventilate the area.

    Sadogatake stable — the largest, with 37 wrestlers — has divided those in the third-tier makushita division and below into two groups for practice. The 35-member Kise stable allows wrestlers to train at their own discretion, with some opting to do shiko at staggered times in the evening, while keeping their distance.

    The communal lifestyle integral to sumo has also been affected by the coronavirus. Many grapplers feel at a loss, banned from gathering together to eat the famed chanko-nabe hotpot which is so synonymous with sumo.

    On May 4, when the JSA decided to cancel the summer tournament, it asked wrestlers to “always wear a mask in large rooms, divide food individually, and refrain from having conversations during meals as much as possible.” A young rikishi belonging to a stable of about 20 voiced his frustration at the constraints, saying, “I can’t even go out, stable life is different. I’m stressed to the limit.” Shockwaves from the cancellation spread outside the ring, dealing a particularly heavy blow to the small shopping centers called sumo-chaya, which handle the sale of tickets, food and beverages.

    Kokugikan Service, which manages the 20 sumo-chaya in Tokyo, plans to have talks with the JSA over how the shops can be compensated for their complete loss of revenue.

    “It’s a unique situation, so the closures are hurting us the same as the rest of the sumo world,” said one sumo-chaya staff member. “One way or another, I hope the autumn tournament goes ahead in September.” The JSA’s finances are taking a big hit as well. The governing body is planning to move July’s Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament to Ryogoku Kokugikan and holding the event behind closed doors — indicating the high likelihood of losing ticket revenue for the third straight meet.

    “Ticket sales are a pillar of our revenue,” said one JSA executive. “The situation is quite severe.” According to JSA personnel, the association expects a loss of about ¥1 billion (around $9.25 million) based on profits from last year’s Spring Basho. The JSA also forfeits some ¥500 million (around $4.65 million) for broadcasting rights from NHK, Japan’s public broadcaster, which airs each 15-day tournament.

    With the May event off the schedule, the focus is firmly on the health of JSA members, including wrestlers, coaches and stablemasters. The JSA announced Monday it had started offering antibody tests throughout the association and expects to complete testing in about a month.

    While it is hard to predict when the coronavirus crisis will be fully resolved, the association remains hopeful of holding its premier event in the near future, with or without an audience.

    “Holding grand tournaments is an absolute necessity,” Shibatayama said. “Wrestlers and the association are gearing up toward the next tournament.” The Nagoya Grand Tournament is scheduled to open on July 19 in Tokyo.

    Swami
     
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  10. Michelle Stevens

    Michelle Stevens 'The Lovely Michelle' EXP: 11 Years

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    Like all sports, its a rough time for sumo. I do hope they meet in July even with an empty stadium. I just hope the stables have a high degree of testing and maintain strict hygiene rules.
     
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  11. Swami

    Swami Soap Chat Supreme

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    All contact sports are pretty much in the same situation unfortunately.

    Swami
     

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