The first Grand Sumo Tournament of 2024, which gets underway Sunday at the Kokugikan in Tokyo, could hasten significant change at the top of the sport.

Four years ago, in the last meet that took place before the COVID-19 pandemic forced sumo to close its doors to fans for an entire tournament and limit attendance for several afterward, Hakuho and Kakuryu stood atop the rankings, while Kirishima (then known as Kiribayama) was a 23-year-old making his top division debut.

Twenty four tournaments later, both of those grand champions have since retired and become stablemasters, while the 2020 makuuchi rookie stands on the verge of promotion to yokozuna himself.