Asanoyama To Reportedly Be Promoted To Ozeki

While he didn’t win the Grand Sumo Tournament this past weekend, Asanoyama was awarded for his efforts.

The Japanese Sumo Association recommended a promotion for the 26-year-old, allowing him to rise to the second-highest rank in sumo. 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 to rip off the bandaid.

“I was aiming to become an ozeki. I have achieved one of my goals,” Asanoyama stated, via The Mainichi.

The tournament was initially in question due to the coronavirus. Officials managed to salvage the event by closing off the arena to just the competitors and essential personnel. Following an exciting last few days, Hakuho was able to win on the last day by beating Kakuryu. It ended up being the Mongolian’s 44th Emperor’s Cup.

Asanoyama has only won one Emperor’s Cup. A master of the yorikiri (force-out), the path for him to become an ozeki became clear once Takayasu was demoted and Goeido retired. A committee will decide on Wednesday if Asanoyama’s transition to ozeki will become official.

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