2023 May Basho Preview

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We are two weeks away from the return of another Grand Sumo Tournament. The May 2023 honbasho will take place at the Kokugikan National Sumo Arena in Tokyo, Japan.

2023 May Grand Sumo Tournament Preview

Sumo fans may finally witness the return of East Yokozuna Terunofuji for the 15-day May tournament as it appears that the 31-year-old Mongolian has confirmed his intentions to return to action. This is great news considering that the top rikishi has sat out of competition for six months due to knee injuries.

Terunofuji competed in the April 2023 regional sumo tours and won. At the event he commented about his health stating, “I still have a long way to go in terms of the movement when going down and the twisting movement, as well as the tachiai.”

It will be interesting how the sumo star holds up over the 15 days of action.

Banzuke Breakdown

The official May banzuke (rankings) were revealed by the Japanese Sumo Association yesterday. The sole yokozuna in representation remains Terunofuji and Takakeisho enters the tournament as the sole ozeki. Sekiwake will be represented by four rikishi this tournament as each man will make their push towards promotion to ozeki. March tournament winner Kiribayama enters the tournament as East Sekiwake #1, Daeisho as East Sekiwake #2, Hoshoryu as West Sekiwake #1, and Wakamotoharu posts his highest rank of his career thus far as West Sekiwake #2.

Kotonowaka enters the May tournament as the premier komusubi as East Komusubi #1 with former ozeki Shodai as East Komusubi #2. Wakatakakage will be the sole komusubi in the west.

Asanoyama and Ichinojo find themselves back in the Makuuchi Division after both men have posted tournament victories in Juryo over the past two months. Bushozan and Azumaryu drop out of the top division after both men offer less than ten combined victories in the March tournament.

Tournament Standouts

In a mirror like manner to March, the 2023 May tournament is up for grabs. Does Terunofuji thunder back in spectacular fashion to earn his eighth Emperor’s Cup? Does Kiribayama continue his impressive ways and win his second straight tournament or does the always exciting Wakatakakage find himself back in top form and score his second ever Top Division championship?

Fans across the globe can watch the May 2023 tournament, which begins on Sunday, May 14th, online at NHK Sumo.

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Brian Knight is a contributing writer and active editor for MMASucka since November 2020. He is currently authoring his first book.

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