• Kyodo


Eleven stable masters filed their candidacies on Thursday for the Japan Sumo Association’s board member election as they vie for 10 seats available at Friday’s vote.

Having been unseated despite serving as the JSA’s No. 2 in the last biennial event, former board member Kokonoe, the former highest-ranked wrestler or “yokozuna” Chiyonofuji who won 31 championships, — the third-most ever — withdrew from this year’s poll after not winning enough backing.

“I didn’t file (my candidacy). I would not have mustered the necessary number (of votes),” Kokonoe told reporters.

Hakkaku, former yokozuna Hokutoumi, who succeeded the late Kitanoumi as the chairman in December to serve until the end of March’s Spring Grand Sumo Tournament, and current board member and former yokozuna Takanohana, seeking his fourth term, got on the ballot. Five candidates are running for the JSA board for the first time in the vote in which 99 stable masters all cast a ballot.

The board of trustees will confirm the JSA’s new administration before its launch after the Spring Basho on March 28, followed by the selection of the next chairman through mutual voting among the new board members.

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