Takanohana will announce retirement
TOKYO Takanohana, who was a dominant force as the highest ranking wrestler in Japan's ancient sport of sumo for years, will retire, an official said.
Yokozuna Takanohana has won 22 tournaments.
Takanohana's exit leaves Hawai'i's Musashimaru the sport's only yokozuna.
"(Takanohana) suffered a lot with injury and it's too bad that he has to quit," Kitanoumi told reporters.
The 30-year-old yokozuna, or grand champion, has won 22 tournaments since he debuted in 1988, and had a record of 701 wins, 216 losses and 201 draws in the top division. He gained sumo's top rank in 1995.
But in recent years, he has struggled to recover from a serious knee injury he sustained in the summer of 2001 that forced him to sit out seven tournaments.
Takanohana returned to the ring last autumn but lost in the championship bout to Musashimaru (Wai'anae's Fiamalu Penitani), and then withdrew from last year's final tournament.
Takanohana is 4-3-1 in the current tournament.