Yokozuna Terunofuji! Terunofuji Promoted To Top Rank of Professional Sumo

Day 15

Terunofuji has been officially named as the sport’s 73rd Yokozuna wrestler, making the
Mongolian born rikishi the first competitor to reach Sumo’s highest rank since now retired Kakuryu gained the prestigious status nearly five years ago.

Four-time makuuchi division champion, Terunofuji, was promoted from the prestigious Ozeki rank just days after his outstanding performance in the June basho, which saw Terunofuji finish second behind Sumo’s most decorated wrestler, Yokozuna Hakuho, with a spectacular winning record of 14:1, while the latter won the event with 15:0.

In the customary kojo speech, Terunofuji stated his desire to continue his improvement as a
Yokozuna wrestler:

“I will hold on to my unshakeable spirit and aim to foster greater dignity and power as a
Yokozuna […] “I want to go all out each day, have a more determined mindset in sumo and
get even stronger. I have to change my ways. I have so much room for improvement. I want
to understand what it means to be a Yokozuna and be a role model,”

Terunofuji, 2021

Although Terunofuji failed to find his fifth makuuchi division title last month, fans will surely be filled with excitement following his recent promotion and commitment to expanding upon his already successful career.

Stablemaster Isegahama, Terunofuji’s coach, was full of praises for his top ranked rikishi after his pupil’s successful basho and hard earned promotion to Yokozuna:

“He did well. No matter how much we support him, he’s the one who has to do the job. He
worked hard day after day. I hope he keeps his head high and establishes a firm position as
Yokozuna”

Stablemaster Isegahama, 2021

However, while his promotion to the illustrious rank of Yokozuna is clearly deserved through the merit of his recent performances, stepping up to the mark of Yokozuna won’t be without its challenges. The monumental divide between Yokozuna Hakuho and Terunoufji in terms of career victories and overall achievements alone appears unbridgeable, and so forming a strong position as a Yokozuna may be trickier than it seems for Terunofuji.

That being said, the Mongolian-born wrestler displayed his winning ambition just last month in that all-exciting Final Day bout versus Hakuho, and being known for his hard work ethic and incredible come-back from injury just two years ago, there is indeed hope for Terunofuji to be able to cement his place as yet another legendary Yokozuna!

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