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Perseverance pays off for a homegrown sumo star

Kisenosato ends 19-year wait for a Japan-born 'yokozuna'

Japanese sumo wrestler Kisenosato performs the ceremonial entrance into a sumo wrestling ring in a style called <i>unryu</i> at Tokyo's Meiji Jingu shrine on Jan. 27. (Photo by Rie Ishii)

TOKYO A late bloomer like his mentor, sumo wrestler Kisenosato won the title of yokozuna after traveling a long, bumpy road.

Kisenosato, center, holds up a red sea bream as he celebrates his promotion to the rank of <i>yokozuna</i> on Jan. 25 in Tokyo. (Photo by Tomoki Mera)

He is the first Japan-born sumo wrestler to ascend to the sport's highest rank in 19 years. Mongolian and American wrestlers have dominated the position after Wakanohana III, who became a yokozuna in 1998.

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