Yokozuna Hakuho was named the winner of this year’s Japan Professional Sports Award on Tuesday for putting together the second-longest winning streak in sumo history.
The Mongolian-born Hakuho, the only wrestler who currently holds sumo’s highest rank, won 63 straight bouts until last month’s Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament, where he was beaten by Kisenosato on the second day.
Hakuho’s feat trails only that of Futabayama, who won 69 in a row from 1936 to 1939.
“I’m extremely honored,” Hakuho said. “I feel a sense of responsibility to work even harder now. I want to set a good example for all of sports.”
The award is presented annually by the Japan Professional Sports Association to the top athlete or team in the nation. Select sports journalists from 54 Tokyo-based media vote the winner.