FUKUOKA – Yokozuna Kisenosato hopes he can shake off the rust and get back to winning ways when he competes in the upcoming Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament after missing the entire previous meet.
On Sunday, when the 15-day meet begins at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, Kisenosato, one of three yokozuna participants here, will meet top-ranked maegashira Tamawashi, against whom he has a 9-1 record.
The 31-year-old Tagonoura stable wrestler injured his left upper arm and chest muscles when he claimed the title at the Spring Basho in Osaka.
Kisenosato pulled out of the May tournament with four days remaining and also withdrew midway into the Nagoya meet in July.
The final sumo tournament of the year also features two other yokozuna — Harumafuji and Hakuho. Fellow Mongolian yokozuna Kakuryu pulled out due to pain in his right ankle and lower back.
Harumafuji, the only yokozuna who competed in the Autumn Basho in Tokyo, will be looking for a second straight title after a playoff victory over ozeki Goeido in September.
Statistics show Hakuho has an advantage on the first day when he faces Kotoshogiku, who sits at sumo’s fourth-highest rank of komusubi, as the legendary wrestler has won 52 of their 57 bouts.
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