The Japan Sumo Association on Monday announced the rankings list for this month’s Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo, placing Mongolian grappler Hakuho in the prominent east yokozuna position.
Hakuho, who had 15 straight victories in the previous tournament in Nagoya, takes up the position for the first time in three tournaments. Asashoryu, who retired partway through the last tournament but emerged to win the recent grand sumo tour in Mongolia, has been named west yokozuna for the September tourney.
The position of east maegashira No. 8, which would have been filled by Wakanoho, will be left empty following the wrestler’s arrest on suspicion of violating the Cannabis Control Law, and his subsequent sacking.
The lineup with a missing maegashira wrestler follows similar unusual events affecting the Kyushu tournament last year when Tokitsuumi stepped down as a No. 11 west maegashira to fill the role of the former stablemaster Tokitsukaze, who was dismissed. The former stablemaster was arrested in February this year on suspicion of inflicting injuries resulting in death on a wrestler in his stable.
Since all four ozeki secured winning records in the last tournament, none of them will face the prospect of demotion in the upcoming tournament for the first time in a year.
SOURCE: The Mainichi Daily News