Sumo Stars Look Ahead To 2020

Heading into the Tokyo games, some of Sumo’s rising stars have earned new ranks per the Japan Sumo Association.

Prior to the start of the new year, the JSA released its latest rankings that have placed Summer Basho winner Asanoyama rise to sekiwake, the third-highest rank in the sport following an 11-4 run at November’s Kyushu Basho.

“I’m aiming to progress higher in the banzuke. I won’t feel confident unless I post double-digit wins as sekiwake,” Asanoyama told reporters at Takasago Stable in Tokyo per the Japan Times.

“I always compete like a challenger. I’m going to fight my own fight.”

One of the sports’ elite, Hakuho, remains at top of the rankings as he prepares for the first grand tournament of 2020 on January 12th inside Ryogoku Kokugikan as the #1 ranked Yokozuna in the east bracket.

“The arrival of the new year means the clock ticks closer to the Tokyo Olympics. I won two championships this year, so I want to make it three next year and climb the ladder one step at a time,” Hakuho said.

On the opposite side of the bracket is the returning Kakuryu, who returns to action following a back injury that kept him from competing in the Kyushu tournament.


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