Four Yokozuna Competing in Spring Basho

For the first time in 17 years, all yokozuna will be competing, as the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament kicks off on Sunday at the Edion Arena Osaka.

Most eyes will be on the newest sumo promoted to yokozuna, Kisenosato, who earned the promotion to sumo’s top rank following his performance at the New Year Basho in January. There, he won the championship with a 14-1 record at the basho.

In his first bout as a yokozuna, Kisenosato will take on Takekaze on day one of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament before facing off with komusubi Shodai on Monday. Kisenosato has won four out of five bouts against Shodai.

"I was thinking that I would be matched with opponents [ranked] around there. I will just focus on each bout each day," Kisenosato told The Japan Times. "My practice went very well."

Kakuryu, who won the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament back in November, will face off with komusubi Mitakeumi on the opening day of the tournament. Mitakeumi defeated Kakuryu in the January tournament before Kakuryu pulled out due to a right leg injury.

Hakuho will meet Shodai on day one, while Harumafuji takes on sekiwake Kotoshogiku.

Ozeki Goeido, who was forced out of the New Year Tournament due to injury as well, will face off with No. 1 maegashira Ikioi. Ozeki Terunofuji, who could very well be demoted with a poor performance in this tournament, will first face second-ranked maegashira Sokokurai.

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