Hakuho aiming to win fourth consecutive title

Kyodo

Gunning for his 27th career title, Mongolian firebrand Hakuho heads up the prestigious east yokozuna slot for the third tournament in a row as the Japan Sumo Association announced the rankings Monday for the upcoming Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo.

Hakuho is seeking a fourth consecutive Emperor’s Cup after a 13-2 showing in July in Nagoya and will once again be the hot favorite at the Sept. 15-29 basho at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Fellow yokozuna Harumafuji, meanwhile, will be looking to prove his worth after another mediocre 10-5 showing last time in Nagoya.

Looking short on confidence in recent meets, Harumafuji will be hoping to pick up where he left off after bursting Hakuho’s bubble with a surprisingly easy win on the final day of the Nagoya meet.

Kisenosato, on the east side for ozeki, is back at square one after his bid to join Hakuho and Harumafuji at sumo’s top rank ended after three early losses in Nagoya.

Kotoshogiku is also on the east side with Kakuryu, and Kotooshu on the west.

Last year’s amateur champion, Endo, enters the makuuchi division after just three tournaments since making his debut, the fastest rise to the top flight since the start of the Showa Era.

Estonian former ozeki Baruto missed the last tournament with a left knee injury and drops into the second-tier juryo division.