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Thursday, Dec. 21, 2000

Kotomitsuki earns sekiwake ranking for New Year basho

The Japan Sumo Association (JSA) confirmed Kotomitsuki as the sport's latest shooting star on Wednesday as it promoted the Sadogatake stable wrestler to sekiwake for next month's New Year tournament.

Kotomitsuki, wrestling as a No. 9 maegashira, was a surprise runnerup to grand champion Akebono at last month's Kyushu tourney with a 13-2 record, a stellar performance reflected in the new JSA rankings for the Jan. 7-21 meet at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Joining Kotomitsuki -- who reached the rank in just his third tourney in sumo's elite makuuchi division -- as a first-time sekiwake is Wakanosato, who posted a strong 9-6 record as a komusubi last time round.

At the top of the tree, Hawaiian-born giant Akebono regained the prestigious east yokozuna slot after winning his 11th Emperor's Cup with a 14-1 mark in Kyushu, while Samoan-born Musashimaru switches to the west side after an 11-4 record.

Grand champion Takanohana, meanwhile, again lines up in the second east spot after fading down the stretch in Kyushu and finishing at 11-4.

Sumo rankings for the New Year Basho
Akebono (Y, 14-1) Yokozuna Musashimaru (Y, 11-4)
Takanohana (Y, 11-4) Yokozuna
Kaio (O, 11-4) Ozeki Chiyotaikai (O, 9-6)
Dejima (O, 9-6) Ozeki Miyabiyama (O, 9-6)
Ozeki Musoyama (O, 9-6)
Wakanosato (K, 9-6) Sekiwake Kotomitsuki (M9, 13-2)
Takanowaka (M8, 11-4) Komusubi Tochinonada (M7, 10-5)
Takanonami (S, 6-9) M.1 Tochisakae (M6, 8-7)
Kotonowaka (M7, 8-7) 2 Hayateumi (S, 4-5-6)
Wakanoyama (M1, 6-9) 3 Kaiho (M9, 8-7)
Akinoshima (M1, 5-10) 4 Tochiazuma (M4, 0-0-15)
Tosanoumi (M4, 7-8) 5 Tamakasuga (M10, 8-7)
Tochinohana (K, 3-12) 6 Chiyotenzan (M3, 6-9)
Higonoumi (M2, 7-8) 7 Kotoryu (M11, 8-7)
Kyokutenho (M6, 7-8) 8 Toki (M5, 6-9)
Hamanoshima (M2, 4-11) 9 Tokitsuumi (M12, 8-7)
Kyokushuzan (M3, 4-11) 10 Oginishiki (M8, 7-8)
Kinkaiyama (J1, 12-3) 11 Minatofuji (M13, 8-7)
Takatoriki (M5, 4-11) 12 Asashoryu (J3, 11-4)
Daishi (J3, 9-6) 13 Tamarikido (J5, 10-5)
Asanowaka (M11, 6-9) 14 Wakakosho (M14, 7-8)
(Previous ranking and record in parentheses. Y=yokozuna, O=ozeki, S=sekiwake, K=komusubi, M=maegashira, J=juryo, r=rest)

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