May, July Grand Sumo Tournament’s To Be Delayed
The sumo world will be going through some major changes over the next few months as a result of the coronavirus.
It was announced that the Grand Sumo Tournament in May will be postponed for two weeks. The event, originally set for May 10 inside Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan, will now take place from May 24 to June 7. This is according to the Japan Sumo Association.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Japan has had to postpone several key events. Last month’s Grand Sumo Tournament was able to take place as planned, but without any spectators. At the end of the 15-day tournament, Hakuho was able to win the whole thing following a dramatic weekend comeback. It is unknown as of this moment if fans will be allowed in the arena or not.
“Since we can’t say that the situation is getting better day by day, we thought about how to hold (the tournament) and decided to delay it for two weeks,” JSA Chairman Hakkaku stated, via Kyodo News.
Additionally, the Grand Sumo Tournament normally scheduled for early July, will now take place from July 19 until August 2. One of the main reasons for early tournaments was to not interfere with the Olympics. This year, the Summer Games were meant to take place in Tokyo. Due to the ongoing situation, the Olympics were postponed and moved to 2021.
Hakkaku will be keeping an eye on the situation, and will decide if fans are allowed or if the events will be cancelled altogether. The JSA will also be testing athletes to see if they are healthy enough to compete.