Baruto Has Sights Set on Yokozuna Title After Disappointing Tournament
An ailing Baruto ended the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on a disappointing note last Sunday, after making his first bid as a candidate yokozuna, the top rank of the sumo hierarchy.
To achieve that feat, the 27-year-old would have needed to win at least 12 matches, but he only won 10 and suffered five defeats. Baruto said he was stricken with a fever during the tournament.
"Of course, I'm not content, but there is no reason to whine,” Baruto told Postimees. “To be honest, I am not disappointed. My aim to become yokozuna was more of journalistic chatter.
I have never directly said anything. But I always give it my all. Some day I hope to become yokozuna, but that wasn't my goal in this tournament.”
Baruto had started the competition with high hopes after winning the New Year meet 14-1.
Meanwhile, Kakuryu was crowned the highlight of the Haru-basho, having been promoted to ozeki and then conquering the Mongolian-born yokozuna, Hakuho, who later claimed revenge in a tiebreaker.
Despite Hakuho's overall victory, claiming his 22nd title, his results have fostered speculation that he is coming down from the peak of his career as yokozuna.