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Shiratsuka on the radar finally

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Found a snippet about Shiratsuka in this month's Ozumo magazine.

Nicknamed "Super Express Shiratsuka", Kise Beya's Shiratsuka had kachikoshi every basho since his dohyo debut at the Haru Basho last year. He made Makushita debut at this Haru Basho and some were suspecting him to hit the wall. Well, the trouble was that apparently no one told him about the wall as he promptly went ahead and got the kachikoshi in his fifth bout.

The thing about Shiratsuka is rather obvious. His magnificent physique. Simply put, he is humongous. Shiratsuka last measured at the height of 192 cm and stupendous 190 kg. Reporters walk gingerly around him as up close and personal, they see a vision of a gigiantic mountain squashing them flat. But once in conversation mode, he is gentle and soft spoken young man always caring about those around him.

The day Shiratsuka got Kachikoshi, his one year senior at Asahi University Sumo Club, Aozora of Tagonoura Beya was waiting for him at the end of Hanamichi. He was there to congratulate him as they both would be competing in Makushita this Natsu Basho. Two college rikishi from a very minor sumo club making it to Makushita finally.

Shiratsuka grew up in Mie Prefecture. His only sport from elementary school to high school was Karate. When he entered Mie High School, he joined the school judo club but also he got interested in sumo as well and even entered in inter-high school tournaments. In no time at all the news of Mighty Shiratsuka from Mie started spreading regionally. Shiratsuka decided to enter Asahi University to make the new fledgling sumo club well known in colleger sumo world.

In the college days, he placed in the top 16 in the Inter-Collegiate as well as placing the second at the Western Japan College Tournament. But Shiratsuka wasn't really satisfied with the results as he wanted to see how far he could go if he put all his energy to it and decided to join Ozumo.

He sees great rivals who joined at the same time as he did. A phenom from Tokyo Nogyo University, Tosayutaka broke the consecutive win record since his dohyo debut by winning 30 bouts and got to Juryo already (he is at Makushita West 1 in Natsu). There are other elite college rikishi like Mori of Nihon University and Terashita, former captain of Toyo University Sumo Club who joined at the same time.

Now that Shiratsuka is ranked high in Makushita and will be facing promising up and comers as well as some with Juryo experience, it shouldl be a good test to see he really has the stuff to compete at much higher level.

Edited by Jonosuke

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