Asanoyama On Ozeki Status: ‘I Will Live Up To My Name’
After being promoted to the second-highest rank in sumo (ozeki), Asanoyama is ready to make an even greater impact on the sport.
Following a dominant performance a the Grand Sumo Tournament this past month, the Japanese Sumo Association recommended a promotion for the 26-year-old. He fell short of 33 wins over three tournaments, which is the requirement, but an 11-4 record in March’s tournament impressed officials enough.
The Grand Sumo Tournament expected to continue in May. It is unknown if it will be behind closed doors as the March one was due to the coronavirus. Regardless, Asanoyama is looking to make an impact whenever he he set to compete. He wants to make himself and those around him proud.
“I will live up to my name as ozeki and love the sport of sumo, fulfill justice as rikishi (sumo wrestler) and exert myself to the utmost,” he stated, via Kyodo News. “I want to be in the fight for the championship.”
A master of the yorikiri, Asanoyama has won one Emperor’s Cup. Having already defeated a yokozuna in his career, Asanoyama’s goals go well beyond sumo. Being the first ozeki from Toyama in 111 years, Asanoyama has high hopes for the future of the sport. Anything is possible if those who follow in his shoes believe.
“I’ll do my best to reach the level of the great grand champion Tachiyama,” Asanoyama went on to say. “While I’m working on that, another dream of mine is have young kids in Toyama set goals and get them to become professionals.”