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Banzuke reaction from Terunofuji, Ichinojo

Terunofuji met with reporters after the release of the Natsu basho banzuke Monday morning following his impressive 13-2 record at the Haru basho that earned him jun-yusho honors and two special prizes. When asked about his future goals in sumo, he responded, "My aim is to become the first Ozeki born in the Heisei era, and I hope to reach the rank this year." The youngster was flanked by his stable master, Isegahama-oyakata, who added, "He's really putting a lot of thought into his sumo. His focus now needs to be the tachi-ai and not letting his opponent get to the inside."

Across town, Ichinojo held his own press conference were he was asked about Terunofuji and his breakout basho in March, "I don't want to lose to him." When asked about his goals for the basho, he replied, "I want to work harder and aim for a higher rank. My goal is not to fall back down to the Maegashira level." Ichinojo's stable master, Minato-oyakata, stated, "I'm trying to get him to lift up on his opponent once he gets the right arm to the inside. Up until now, even with the right to the inside, he's still letting his opponents fight from a position of force. If he can lift up into the opponent's arm, they won't be able to do anything. We're studying tape for former Yokozuna Musashimaru's tactics. It won't come that easy to him, but I want him to practice it at de-geiko." When asked about Ichinojo's likelihood of facing Hakuho on day 1, he responded, "He's going to have to face him some time, so it's no problem. He's got the power, so the key now is to see how many elite guys he can beat."





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