Japan’s sumo superstar Hakuho tests positive for Covid-19

Sumo grand champion Yokozuna Hakuho has become the latest Japanese star sportsman to test positive for coronavirus, the Japanese Sumo Association (JSA) has said.

The JSA said that the 35-year-old sumo superstar felt something wrong with his sense of smell and got tested in a hospital on Monday. The PCR test result proved positive Tuesday morning, reports Xinhua news agency.

JSA communications director Shiba Tayama told the Kyodo news agency that the Mongolian-born Hakuho will be unlikely to compete at the upcoming New Year Grand Sumo tournament to start on Sunday at Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Hakuho, who has won a record 44 top-division titles, is the Japanese star athlete after tennis icon Kei Nishikori and men’s badminton world number one Kento Momota to get infected with the coronavirus.

Japan has been suffering a third wave of infections since last December. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government reported 1,278 new cases of the Covid-19 in the Japanese capital on Tuesday, marking the second-highest figure, according to state broadcaster NHK.

Tokyo officials said the number of seriously-ill patients has reached 111, up three from the day before. The figure is the highest to date.