Ozeki Kisenosato Promoted to 72nd Yokozuna
Sumo fans have long been anxious to see a native Japanese rikishi made Yokozuna, the highest rank in Sumo, hopefully in the person of Champion Kisenosato who has attempted and failed so often due to hard luck and his own mental instability.
The spring tourney 2017 was to be another chance for Kisenosato to give a crack at the topmost rank in Sumo he has challenged for the past five years, and it looks like he has finally made it.
The Yokozuna Deliberation Council's extraordinary board meeting at Ryōgoku Kokugikan January 23 voted unanimously in favor of advising the Japan Sumo Association to promote Ozeki Kisenosato to the rank of 72nd Yokozuna or Grand Champion. The association is officially announcing the decision at the spring tourney rank-deciding committee and an extraordinary board meeting due on January 25.
Kisenosato is an off-the-chart sumo wrestler for two contrasting charms - his explosive power when everything goes right for him and his heart of a rabbit that lets him down at crucial moments of decision. He has missed a number of delicious moments in his favor - each and every time he let go the fish halfway into the net.
Kisenosato did it right this time. He met his arch rival Yokozuna Hakuho on the last day of the spring tourney and ousted him in an upset. Kisenosato told the press he felt like his late stable master Naruto, the late former grand champion Takanosato, "thrusting me from behind".
The moment he won the tourney on the day 14 he was momentarily in tears. Asked how come he let out tears, he shyly countered: "It's all in your minds, folks. I was only concentrating on my next bout - still in the middle of a tourney."
The focal point henceforth will be how Kisenosato will manage to work out a blend of his two contrasting charms. It's not an easy job - for sure. (Nathan Shiga)