Yokozuna Hakuho, winner of a record 45 grand sumo tournament titles, has decided to call it a career, a source familiar with the matter said Sept. 27.
The 36-year-old Mongolian-born wrestler had been considering retirement after failing to recover from a right knee injury that has kept him out of tournaments in recent years, according to the source.
Hakuho appeared to be on the comeback trail when he returned to the ring to win the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament in July with a perfect 15-0 record, after missing all or part of the previous six tournaments due to injuries and a COVID-19 infection.
But he and 17 other wrestlers of the Miyagino stable were forced to skip the just-ended fall tournament due to multiple COVID-19 cases in the stable.
With 1,187 career wins and 1,093 makuuchi division victories, Hakuho’s career was filled with records and defining moments.
The 69th yokozuna in the ancient sport’s history, Hakuho, whose birth name is Monkhbatyn Davaajargal, debuted in the spring of 2001 and won his first top-division title at the summer meet in May 2006, when he first fought at the second-highest rank of ozeki.
Hakuho, born in Ulaanbaatar, acquired Japanese citizenship in September 2019, giving him the right to run his own stable of wrestlers in the future. (Kyodo)