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Kiribayama Earns Promotion to Second-Highest Rank of Ozeki After Impressive Results

Mongolian-born sumo wrestler Kiribayama, who won the Emperor's Cup at the Spring Basho in March, has changed his ring name to Kirishima.



Kiribayama (left) displays his new ring name Kirishima with his stablemaster Michinoku, who was previously known as Kirishima, during a ceremony in Tokyo on May 31. (KYODO)

Read the full story on SportsLook - Kiribayama Earns Promotion to Second-Highest Rank of Ozeki After Impressive Results

Kiribayama was promoted to sumo's second-highest rank of ozeki on Wednesday, May 31 after an impressive run that included winning the Emperor's Cup in the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament.

In a move that was expected by many, the Japan Sumo Association unanimously decided to promote Kiribayama, who had an 11-4 record in the Summer Basho, which wrapped up on May 28, at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Upon being promoted, the 27-year-old Mongolian, whose real name is Byambachuluun Lkhagvasuren, changed his ring name to Kirishima, formerly used by his stable master Michinoku when he was an active wrestler. 

"I'll train harder than ever to live up to the rank of ozeki," Kirishima said, according to Kyodo News. 

He added, "I just have to devote myself to going for one rank above this."

Kirishima becomes the sixth Mongolian to achieve the rank of ozeki. He has 34 wins over his last three tournaments as either a komusubi or sekiwake, exceeding the standard promotion benchmark of 33.

Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.

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Author: Jim Armstrong

The author is a longtime journalist who has covered sports in Japan for over 25 years. You can find his articles on SportsLook.

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