TOKYO -- Sumo wrestler Terunofuji thanked his 26-year-old Mongolian wife for her support during their wedding ceremony at Tomioka Hachimangu shrine in the capital's Koto Ward on Feb. 11.
Sekiwake-ranked Terunofuji, a Mongolian whose real name is Gantulga Ganerdene, may return to the ozeki rank depending on his performance in the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament beginning on March 14 at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo venue. "I wanted to have a wedding ceremony and also put on a good performance in the upcoming tournament," he said.
The 29-year-old grappler said he met his wife -- who studied in Japan since her high school days -- seven years ago through an acquaintance. They apparently got married in February 2018, after he became an ozeki but he slipped down the rankings due to issues including injuries to both knees and an internal disease.
Although Terunofuji dropped to the depths of the fifth-tier jonidan division, he was promoted back to the top-level makuuchi division for the first time in 2 1/2 years for the July tournament last year and lifted the trophy for the first time in five years.
"Even when I was going down (the rankings), she continued to support me in the same way. I was overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude, and I felt I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her," Terunofuji explained. "It's all thanks to my wife that I was able to get back to where I am now."
(Japanese original by Hironobu Murakoso, Sports News Department)