Terunofuji promoted to sumo's highest rank

NHK -- Jul 21
Ozeki champion Terunofuji has been promoted to sumo's highest rank of yokozuna.

The Japan Sumo Association formally made the decision at an extraordinary meeting of its board of governors on Wednesday.

The association's messengers delivered the news to the Mongolian-born wrestler at his stable in Tokyo.

Terunofuji said he will "strive to maintain an unflinching spirit, and enhance the dignity and ability" as a yokozuna grand champion.

Terunofuji is the first new yokozuna since Japanese-born Kisenosato won promotion in 2017, and the first in the Reiwa era, which began in 2019.

The 29-year-old's career is marked by a stunning comeback. After first reaching the rank of ozeki in 2015, he was marred by injury and illness, and dropped to the second lowest rank of jonidan at one point.

Thanks to hard work, he reclaimed the ozeki title in March, and won the subsequent tournament in May. He narrowly missed the title in the most recent tournament in Nagoya where he finished with a 14-1 record.

Terunofuji is the seventh foreign-born yokozuna, and the fifth from Mongolia.