A day after wrapping up his 27th career championship, Hakuho put an exclamation mark on his fourth consecutive title with a convincing win over rival yokozuna Harumafuji on the final day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday.
Hakuho, whose left eye was bruised and swollen from his bang-up with Kisenosato the previous day, finished with a 14-1 mark, his only defeat coming at the hands of sekiwake Goeido. Harumafuji finished at 10-5.
In the final of the 15-day tournament, Hakuho got his left arm in for an armlock after a short exchange of shoves and easily tossed Harumafuji down in front of a full house at Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Hakuho is now just four titles from tying yokozuna legend Chiyonofuji’s mark of 31. Taiho holds the all-time record with 32. Most experts believe that for Hakuho, who is still 28, surpassing both yokozuna is just a matter of time.
“After yesterday’s win I was able to go into today very relaxed,” said Hakuho, who had joked Saturday that his black-eye was a medal of honor for a valiant fight.
“I have experienced a lot (in six years as yokozuna). I want to take a nice rest.”
Kisenosato, in the title race until his loss to Hakuho on Saturday, slammed out ozeki rival Kakuryu (9-6) to end at 11-4.
Ozeki Kotoshogiku (10-5) manhandled Myogiryu (6-9), sending the sekiwake out with a textbook frontal shove.
Goeido, who beat Hakuho and three ozeki, earned his second Outstanding Performance Prize. He notched his 11th win in his belt, upending Brazilian Kaisei (7-8).
Shohozan, who defeated Harumafuji and two ozeki, was awarded his second Fighting Spirit Prize, chasing out Toyonoshima (8-7) to finish with a winning record.
Homasho (10-5) notched double-digit wins for the first time since the 2012 Spring Basho, finishing off with a forceout of Georgian Gagamaru (6-9).
Komusubi Tochiozan all but assured himself a move up to sekiwake for the Kyushu Basho in November by posting a majority of wins on the final day after toppling Kyokutenho (8-7).