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Hakuho completes tournament with 15-0 record

Kyodo

A day after clinching his 38th career championship, yokozuna Hakuho put the icing on the cake Sunday, when he finished the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament with a perfect 15-0 record.

Although their bout had no impact on the championship, Hakuho and fellow yokozuna Harumafuji went at each other for keeps, with Hakuho outlasting his Mongolian compatriot in a 1-minute, 27-second endurance contest and forcing him out to an 11-4 record.

Hakuho, who entered the 15-day event at Ryogoku Kokugikan owning the record for most championships won, repeated his feat from a year ago, when he won his last title in July without a single defeat.

“It’s been a long time since I stood here while they played the national anthem. It doesn’t get any better than this,” said the 32-year-old. “Last September I needed surgery and a lot of rehab, but I believed all along that this day would come and I persevered.”

Takayasu, whose promotion to ozeki is only waiting to be rubber-stamped by the Japan Sumo Association, finished the meet with two straight losses, thrown down to an 11-4 record at the hands of ozeki Terunofuji (12-3).

The Tagonoura stable sekiwake, however, received some consolation by winning his second career Technique Prize, his third special prize in three tournaments. Also winning the technique award was komusubi Yoshikaze, who defeated two yokozuna and one ozeki.

Hakuho praised the sekiwake’s rise through the ranks.

“Takayasu has done so well. He’s pushed me to set an example, to stay a step ahead of him,” Hakuho said. “I’ve been an obstacle to him, and when you run into a wall, you have to get stronger. And he has.”

Yoshikaze finished with an 8-7 mark by beating No. 7 maegashira Hokutofuji (10-5).

Komusubi Mitakeumi, who defeated a pair of yokozuna, Kakuryu and Harumafuji, won his first career Outstanding Performance Prize for his first special prize in two tournaments. Mitakeumi fell on Sunday to finish at 8-7, forced out by No. 5 Shodai (10-5).

Onosho, a 14th-ranked maegashira who made his debut in the elite makuuchi division, was awarded a Fighting Spirit Prize, but finished with a 10-5 record after a final-day defeat to No. 7 Takakeisho (11-4).

Ozeki Goeido, having secured his ozeki status for another two tourneys with a winning record here, had to settle for nine wins after being slapped down by sekiwake Tamawashi (10-5).

Former ozeki Kotoshogiku (7-8) got a warm round of applause when he finished with a win over No. 6 Ikioi (9-6), but the sekiwake left the ring with a downcast expression.