Sumo dish smasher warned after tantrum

Mon May 19, 11:40 AM ET

TOKYO (Reuters) - Russian Wakanoho has become the latest sumo wrestler to be given a ticking-off for throwing a tantrum when he smashed a shelf in the fighters' communal bathroom after losing a bout.

The Japan Sumo Association (JSA) warned Wakanoho about his behaviour on Monday after the 19-year-old's temper got the better of him following a loss a day earlier.

"I get a bit upset when I lose," the giant Russian told reporters. "I don't want to break things, but when I see dishes and stuff I just have to smash them."

Wakanoho's sumo "stable" master Magaki said his charge had a few rough spots to iron out.

"He has difficulty keeping his emotions in check," he acknowledged. "That's a bad thing."

Magaki has had problems of his own after being given a warning by the JSA after admitting to beating a junior wrestler with a bamboo sword.

The sport has been plagued by scandal in recent months, most notably the arrest of a former gym chief on suspicion of assault following the death of a teenage wrestler.

The affair came after Mongolian "yokozuna" Asashoryu was banned after being caught on TV playing soccer while supposedly injured, triggering outrage among the sumo establishment.

Sumo dates back some 2,000 years and still retains many Shinto religious overtones.

Modern professional sumo has more than 60 foreign-born wrestlers in Japan, drawn from countries ranging from South Korea to Brazil with many more from Eastern Europe.

(Reporting by Alastair Himmer; editing by Miles Evans)


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