NAGOYA – Yokozuna Hakuho, who is gunning for his 30th career Emperor’s Cup, will retain his prestigious position on the east wing for the third consecutive meet, with the Japan Sumo Association’s release of the rankings for the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.
Hakuho, who won the summer basho in May with an outstanding 14-1 mark, has a chance to move within one championship of yokozuna great Chiyonofuji’s 31 titles and zero in on the legendary Taiho’s all-time record of 32, when the July 13-27 tournament kicks off at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium.
It will be the 42nd time Hakuho will make an appearance at the top rank, placing him in a tie for eighth with former yokozuna Asashoryu.
Kakuryu, who fell well below expectations on his debut at sumo’s top rank in May with a paltry 9-6 mark, was nevertheless shown the benefit of a doubt to claim the other yokozuna spot on the east.
Yokozuna Harumafuji, who has been at sumo’s top rung since November 2012, was judged more harshly for his inconsistent efforts and remained on the west wing, despite posting an 11-4 mark.
Ozeki Kisenosato will take the east ozeki position after a 13-2 effort, while Kotoshogiku, who finished with a dismal 5-10 record, is facing demotion from sumo’s second-highest rank on the west wing.
Sekiwake Goeido, who will sit on the east, surpasses Kaio with the dubious distinction of holding sumo’s third-highest rank in his record 14th consecutive tournament.
Tochiozan, who had 10 wins in May, returns to the west wing for the third time in a row.
Veteran journeyman Aminishiki is back in the east komusubi slot for the first time in eight meets, making him the seventh oldest at 35 years, 8 months, to gain promotion to the “sanyaku,” or three ranks below yokozuna.
Bulgarian Aoiyama returns to the west komusubi spot for the first time in 11 meets.
Rising star Endo, whose popularity has continued to grow among sumo fans despite suffering two consecutive “make-koshi” losing records, has dropped to the No. 5 west maegashira rank.
There were no new promotions to sumo’s sanyaku and no wrestlers will debut in the elite makuuchi division.