A day after securing his record-extending 41st championship, Mongolian yokozuna Hakuho closed the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament with a perfect 15-0 record on Sept. 23.
By winning a yokozuna clash against fellow Mongolian Kakuryu, Hakuho claimed the Emperor’s Cup with a spotless record for a record-extending 14th time. It was Hakuho’s first championship in a year that has seen him struggle with injuries.
“I feel like the god of sumo smiled at me for the first time in a while. It feels amazing,” the 33-year-old said. “I suffered injuries this year, and my father passed away. So I felt lonely at times but I think I can finally deliver good news to him.”
The victory was his first since his father, Mongolian sumo grand champion Jigjid Munkhbat, passed away at the age of 76 in April.
In the day’s finalbout, the two wrestlers at sumo’s highest rank held each other’s belts with both hands. Kakuryu first charged Hakuho toward the edge, but Hakuho survived the scare, turned around and pushed him out of the ring.
Kakuryu, who won back-to-back championships earlier this year, and Japanese yokozuna Kisenosato each finished with a 10-5 record. (Kyodo)