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Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012

Baruto on east in new sumo rankings


OSAKA — The Japan Sumo Association announced the new rankings for the upcoming Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday, with Estonian-born ozeki Baruto taking aim at promotion to sumo's highest rank after winning his maiden title in January.

Baruto, who finished with an outstanding 14-1 mark to win the New Year Basho, will make his first bid at promotion to yokozuna fighting out of the prestigious east wing at the March 11-25 tournament at Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.

Japanese ozeki pair Kisenosato and Kotoshogiku, who barely made the grade with an 8-7 record last time out, will sit on the east and west, respectively.

Bulgarian-born ozeki Kotooshu will appear in his 37th basho at sumo's second-highest rank, placing him in a tie for sixth on the all-time list.

Hakuho, who will reign as the lone yokozuna in his 12th meet, is gunning for his 22nd career Emperor's Cup — a feat that would tie him with former yokozuna Takanohana.

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