NAGOYA – Sekiwake Goeido will get the official green light for a rise in rank to sumo’s second-highest rank of ozeki when his promotion is formalized following meetings by the Japan Sumo Association on Wednesday morning.
The 28-year-old Goeido’s promotion will be put to a vote at a regular meeting to decide the sumo rankings for the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament in September before it is formally decided at the JSA’s extraordinary board meeting.
“I want to act manly and be well understood,” said Goeido at his Sakaigawa stable’s lodgings in Aichi Prefecture, two days after he wrapped up the 15-day Nagoya basho by dominating ozeki Kotoshogiku to finish with an outstanding 12-3 mark.
“I think I will be nervous, but I want to make sure I convey my message without making any mistakes,” he added, referring to a short prepared speech he will recite at his induction ceremony.
Goeido’s stable elder, Sakaigawa, will turn 52 the same day.
“I can feel a very strong bond with him. I believe I can repay my debt of gratitude,” Goeido said.
Goeido finished the summer basho in May with a just-passable 8-7 record but toppled both Kakuryu and Emperor’s Cup winner Hakuho at the Nagoya meet.
It was his first tournament with 12 victories in two meets, bringing his tally to 32 wins in his three most recent tournaments, just one win away from the JSA’s roughly prescribed guideline of 33 for ozeki promotion.
Goeido will be the first to be promoted to ozeki since Mongolian-born Kakuryu, now a yokozuna, gained the status at the 2012 summer basho. He is the first Japanese-born wrestler to receive the rank since Kisenosato in January 2012.
The Autumn basho in Tokyo will feature three Mongolians at sumo’s top rung of yokozuna, making for some intriguing match-ups against the three Japanese ozeki.
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