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Former Ozeki Kotooshu retires

Mar. 20 - Former Ozeki Kotooshu announced his retirement from the Sumo Association as an active rikishi today. Plagued by injuries in recent years, the current Sekiwake began the tournament 1-9 before withdrawing citing a re-injury of his shoulder dislocated at last year's Kyushu basho. "My body is too broken down for me to do the kind of sumo I want to," he began at a press conference flanked by his stable master, Sadogatake-oyakata. "I felt that my time was done after being thrown by Hakuho on day 10," he explained. The former Ozeki said he talked to his stable master that evening about his decision and said that he had no regrets. Regarding Hakuho as his final opponent, he said, "We rose up the ranks together and practiced seemingly every day. I'm really happy that my last bout was against Hakuho-zeki."

When asked what his greatest memory was, he quickly singled out the 2008 Natsu basho where he won his only career yusho. "My father came from Bulgaria, and of course my stable master and the kamisan were there, so it was neat to yusho in front of all my parents." Kotooshu fought 57 basho in the Makuuchi division finishing with a 466-322 record with 63 kyujo bouts. Former Ozeki are allowed to remain with the Sumo Association for three years under their fighting name, so Kotooshu will remain with his current stable as Kotooshu-oyakata.






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