The ascension of veteran Mitakeumi to the rank of ozeki and Abi to sekiwake in Monday’s latest Japan Sumo Association rankings put the spotlight on the two wrestlers’ perseverance.

Mitakeumi, a hot prospect out of university, rose rapidly to the three sanyaku ranks below yokozuna, but needed 28 tournaments as a komusubi or sekiwake before his third grand tournament championship in January put him over the top and earned him promotion to ozeki.

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