Hakuho puts finishing touches on 43rd career title
Japan Times -- Nov 25
Yokozuna Hakuho finished his championship run at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday with a victory over ozeki Takakeisho at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.

In a bout that was preceded by a long staring contest before the start, Hakuho quickly gained the advantage and forced his 23-year-old opponent to the straw’s edge. But with his back to the straw, Takakeisho froze, and the two wrestlers waited for over a minute to see who would make the next move.

Hakuho eventually put an end to the human statue competition, hoisting Takakeisho (9-6) up by the belt and forcing him out. The yokozuna, who had extended his record for career championships to 43 on Saturday, finished with a 14-1 record.

“I’m coming off injury and surgery, so I wasn’t without anxiety here,” Hakuho said during the award ceremony. “So to be standing here at the end is the greatest.

“I think he (Takakeisho) is just the harbinger of strong young wrestlers yet to come who will represent the sumo world well.”

May champion Asanoyama, whose 55 wins led all top-division wrestlers this year, and who was in the title hunt until Hakuho’s victory in Saturday’s final bout, won the first Technique Prize of his career but was unable to finish the year with a win.

No. 10 maegashira Shodai bounced back from his loss on Saturday to force out Asanoyama and claim his third career Fighting Spirit Prize. The pair finished with identical 11-4 records.

News source: Japan Times
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