FUKUOKA - Yokozuna Hakuho reached a milestone Tuesday, picking up his 1,000th career win by defeating No. 2 maegashira Kaisei on the third day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.
Ozeki Goeido also kept the pace, thrusting second-ranked maegashira Yoshikaze down onto his knees with a side throw for a 3-0 record, which he shares with Hakuho, yokozuna Kakuryu and four other grapplers in the maegashira ranks.
In the day’s final bout, Hakuho and Kaisei got into a tussle in a bear hug before the yokozuna delivered a strong arm throw, sending the winless Brazilian twirling down onto the ground at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.
“I went into the bout with just the right amount of nerves,” said Hakuho who now has a 10-0 record against Kaisei. “I couldn’t achieve (the 1,000 wins) at the Nagoya and Autumn Basho, but I was finally able to do it.”
Hakuho had finished the Nagoya tourney in July with a 10-5 record and sat out the entire Autumn Basho two months ago with injuries.
The 31-year-old Mongolian is the third sumo wrestler to collect 1,000 wins, following in the footsteps of the late former yokozuna Chiyonofuji, who ended his career with 1,045 wins, and former ozeki Kaio, who had a total of 1,047 victories.
“Two great sumo wrestlers had reached 1,000 wins, and of them, I had fought against Kaio on the dohyo and thought it was amazing when he achieved the feat (in 2010). At that time, I never thought I would be the third one,” Hakuho said.
When asked about prospects of surpassing Kaio in total wins, he said, “For now, I want to aim for my 1,001st win.”
Goeido, who won the Autumn Tournament for his first-ever championship, remained on course toward promotion to the highest rank of yokozuna as he delivered powerful thrusts against Yoshikaze, looking visibly surprised when his opponent suddenly fell onto his knees.
Goeido evened his career record against Yoshikaze to 9-9.
Kakuryu needed a little time against top maegashira Aoiyama, but eventually edged the giant out of the ring to his third loss in a row, while Harumafuji picked up his second straight win after heaving off top maegashira Tochiozan (0-3).
Ozeki Terunofuji, who may be demoted without a winning record at the Kyushu tourney, got his first win as he edged out sekiwake Okinoumi (1-2).
No. 3 maegashira Endo (2-1) bulldozed out Kisenosato to hand the ozeki his first loss here while beating a second-ranked grappler for a second consecutive day. Endo won for the second time against Kisenosato in their fifth meeting.
Komusubi Tamawashi (2-1) beat ozeki Kotoshogiku (1-2), while sekiwake Takayasu (2-1) wrapped his arm around Mitakeumi’s neck and threw the komusubi down to his second loss.
Among rank-and-filers, No. 3 maegashira Shodai, seventh-ranked Takekaze, eighth-ranked Ikioi and 14th-ranked Sokokurai remain undefeated after three days.
Shodai downed No. 5 maegashira Shohozan (1-2), Takekaze defeated fifth-ranked Takarafuji (2-1), Ikioi pulled down ninth-ranked Kagayaki (1-2) and Sokokurai beat No. 11 newcomer Hokutofuji (1-2).