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When the Aki-basho starts today, all eyes will be on one man, and this time it is not yokozuna grand champion Hakuho. Rather the focus of sumo fans throughout Japan and around the world will be on ozeki Harumafuji. Looking to secure a second consecutive championship victory and thereby guarantee his own promotion to the top rank, the 28-year-old Mongolian has been here before — twice — and failed both times.

In 2009 and 2011, in the tournaments following his first and second Emperor’s Cup victories, he failed to impress, scoring just nine and eight wins respectively, well off the 14 or 15 that would have seen him considered for promotion.

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