Victorious Hakuho eyes more titles

Kyodo

A day after winning his 28th career Emperor’s Cup, yokozuna Hakuho said he has no desire to stop now.

“I’m tired, but I’ve managed to win as many championships as I’ve had birthdays,” the 28-year-old Mongolian told a news conference at his Miyagino stable.

“When I’m 29 (in March), I want to win my 29th championship and then push it to 30.

After leading the New Year basho for the first 14 days with an unblemished record, Hakuho was forced into a playoff on Sunday following a final-day defeat to ozeki Kakuryu. Hakuho, however, defeated his countryman in the playoff to seal victory.

Kakuryu’s 14-1 record should put him into the conversation as a candidate for eventual promotion to yokozuna.

“His sumo instincts were sharp, and he moved differently,” Hakuho said. “(To become a yokozuna) you need to collect 13 or 14 wins. He is certainly capable of winning 12, the issue is whether he can get over that wall.”