Sekiwake duo have shot at ozeki

Kyodo News

Sekiwake pair Kisenosato and Kotoshogiku may be considered for promotion to ozeki if they win or come close to winning the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in March, senior Japan Sumo Association official Takanohana said Sunday.

Kisenosato won 10 bouts and Kotoshigiku posted 11 wins at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament won by Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho, who only lost to Kisenosato en route to his sixth straight Emperor’s Cup and 18th overall.

Both Kisenosato and Kotoshogiku need 13 wins at the March 13-27 basho in Osaka to meet the sumo governing body’s loosely set requirement for promotion to ozeki of 33 wins over three consecutive tournaments.

Asked to comment on the possibility of Kisenosato earning sumo’s second-highest rank, Takanohana said, “If he keeps winning from the start of the spring meet, talk of his promotion should take place naturally.”