In September, Terunofuji was the lone yokozuna in action. Now he’s all alone at the top of the latest rankings, published Monday by the Japan Sumo Association.
With the retirement of Hakuho, who won a record 45 titles, after September’s Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament, Terunofuji will be the sport’s lone yokozuna when the 15-day Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament gets underway at Fukuoka Kokusai Center on Nov. 14.
The 29-year-old Terunofuji won his debut tourney at the sport’s highest rank and will now be alone in shouldering the extreme expectations placed on yokozuna.
The ozeki and sekiwake ranks remain unchanged from September, when the two ozeki, Shodai and Takakeisho, each went 8-7, and the two sekiwake, Mitakeumi and Meisei, also posted winning records. The only change among the three sanyaku ranks below yokozuna comes at komusubi.
Mongolian Ichinojo is on the east after going 8-7 in his September sanyaku comeback and is joined on the west by compatriot Kiribayama.
The 25-year-old Kiribayama becomes the first Mongolian to debut in the sanyaku since Tamawashi and Terunofuji took that step in March 2015, and the 26th foreign-born wrestler to achieve the feat.
At the other end of the makuuchi-division table, four wrestlers have been re-promoted from the second-tier juryo division, No. 15 maegashira Abi, No. 16 Akua and Sadanoumi, along with No. 17 Shohozan.
Abi is returning after a plummet down the rankings for violating coronavirus protocols, while Shohozan, at the age of 37 years and 8 months, will be the ninth oldest to regain admission to the top flight.
With no makuuchi debutants this time around, sumo will finish the year with just two wrestlers having made the jump to the top flight in 2021, the fewest since the current six-grand tournament format was adopted in 1958.
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