Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament opens in Fukuoka

The Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament kicked off in Fukuoka City, western Japan, on Sunday.

It's the first Kyushu tournament in two years. The event is normally held once a year in Kyushu, but last year's November event was held in Tokyo due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The number of spectators is being capped at 3,700 as part of anti-infection measures. That's within 50 percent of the venue's capacity.

Japan Sumo Association Chairman Hakkaku said the wrestlers have worked hard while taking thorough precautions against the coronavirus. He said they will deliver heated bouts that live up to everyone's expectations.

Yokozuna Grand Champion Hakuho, winner of a record 45 grand sumo tournament titles, retired after the September event.

Terunofuji, currently the sole Yokozuna, is aiming for a second straight title in this tourney. He got off to a good start by beating Kiribayama.

The Kyushu tournament will run through November 28 at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center.