Musashigawa stable makes some history

(See rankings for the Nagoya Basho)
The Musashigawa stable became the first sumo stable in history to have a yokozuna and three ozeki ranked for the same event Monday when the Japan Sumo Association released its rankings for next month’s Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

Grand champion Akebono, meanwhile, tops the rankings as east yokozuna while Takanohana heads up the west and No. 13 maegashira Sentoryu becomes the first wrestler from the mainland United States to reach sumo’s elite makuuchi division.

The 15-day tourney gets under way at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium on July 9.

Miyabiyama, coming off 11-4 showings in the last two tournaments, becomes the most recent Musashigawa grappler to reach ozeki and joins yokozuna Musashimaru and fellow-ozeki Musoyama and Dejima to round out the stable’s unprecedented quartet of top-rankers.

The rankings, however, may not truly mirror the condition of the stable with Musashimaru and Musoyama attempting to rebound from injuries that forced them out of the entire summer tourney in May.

Musashimaru joins Akebono as an east yokozuna while Musoyama, who was supposed to make his debut as ozeki in May, now risks losing sumo’s second-highest rank if he loses eight or more matches as the No. 2 ozeki on the west side of the ring.

Chiyotaikai stands ahead of the three Musashigawa stable ozeki on the east after going 11-4 in May.

Former ozeki Takanonami, meanwhile, falls to sekiwake for a second time this year after posting losing records in two straight tournaments. He can regain ozeki status again, however, with 10 or more wins in Nagoya.

Kaio takes over the top sekiwake position after winning the summer tournament with a 14-1 mark as a komusubi and will be listed at sumo’s third-highest rank for the 21st time in his career.

Sentoryu, or Henry Miller from St. Louis, Mo., will make his makuuchi division debut as a No. 13 maegashira after going 8-7 as a No. 2-ranked wrestler in sumo’s second-tier juryo division.

“Ironman” Terao falls out of the makuuchi class after 90 straight tournaments in the first division, following a 5-10 showing as a 13th-ranked maegashira.