The New Year Grand Sumo Tournament in January will feature only one yokozuna and a single ozeki for the first time in 125 years, according to the latest rankings released Monday by the Japan Sumo Association.

Yokozuna Terunofuji is pictured following his defeat to Takayasu on the ninth day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan on Sept. 19, 2022. (Kyodo)

For the Jan. 8-22 tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan, injury-plagued Terunofuji remains the sole grand champion, while Takakeisho is the only ozeki after Mitakeumi in September and Shodai in November both suffered demotion from the second-highest rank following two straight losing records.

The last time only two wrestlers occupied the top two ranks was in January 1993 when Akebono and Konishiki wrestled as ozeki, without a yokozuna.

Kotonowaka and Wakamotoharu both won promotion to the fourth-highest rank of komusubi for the first time.

The JSA, meanwhile, suspended No. 7 maegashira Ichinojo from the New Year tournament after July's Nagoya meet champion was found to have breached coronavirus-related rules in November 2020 and August 2021.

Photo taken on Dec. 26, 2022, in Tokyo shows the Japan Sumo Association's latest rankings. (Kyodo)


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