Fri, Aug 18, 2006 - Page 24 News List

Top sumo wrestlers arrive for Taipei exhibition bouts

CNA , TOKYO

A Japanese tourist has her picture taken together with Asashoryu Akinori after the famous Mongolian sumo wrestler arrived in Taipei yesterday.

PHOTO: CNA

A 100-strong delegation of the Japan Sumo Association, including 42 top-ranked professional sumo wrestlers, arrived in Taiwan yesterday for a five-day visit.

The sumo wrestlers will stage exhibition matches tomorrow and on Sunday in the Taipei Arena.

This will be the first visit to Taiwan by a Japanese sumo wrestling team since the end of World War II.

Conspicuous among the wrestlers will be Asashoryu Akinori, the first sumo wrestler from Mongolia to reach the rank of yokozuna -- the highest sumo rank. As of this year, he is also the only active yokozuna.

Another well-known wrestler of Mongolian origin is Hakuho Sho, who is the sixth foreign-born wrestler to reach the rank of ozeki, the champion rank immediately below yokozuna.

The sumo exhibition competition in Taipei is sponsored by Asia Plus Broadcasting, a local cable TV network.

The network had invited a group of wrestlers from Japan to tour Taiwan in mid-June to promote this month's event.

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