NAGOYA – Yokozuna Hakuho rebounded from a shock first defeat by beating sekiwake Tamawashi on Thursday to collect a record-tying 1,047th career win, at the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.
Hakuho matched the all-time record held by former ozeki Kaio in the day’s penultimate bout at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, knocking sekiwake Tamawashi (6-6) back with some vicious blows to the face before finishing him off with a routine shove at the ring’s edge.
“It’s strange, but I feel happy to be tied,” Hakuho said. “I can’t adequately express how I feel in words.
“Over the past year, I’ve suffered from injuries and struggles and I think I have achieved this tremendous record because of that.”
The result keeps Hakuho (11-1), sumo’s most successful wrestler with 38 championship titles, one win clear of No. 8 maegashira Aoiyama with three days of the 15-day meet remaining.
Hakuho can claim sole ownership of the all-time record with a victory against new ozeki Takayasu on Friday.
“Tomorrow, I want to be the sole owner of the record,” Hakuho said.
Aoiyama got back to winning ways to keep himself in the thick of the title race, the Bulgarian-born grappler tearing down 13th-ranked Hokutofuji (6-6) after a flurry of head charges to move to 10-2.
But sixth-ranked Onosho dropped out of a tie for second when he was slapped down to a third defeat by 10th-ranked Chiyotairyu (8-4).
Yokozuna Harumafuji is at 9-3 after he quickly marched out sekiwake Mitakeumi (8-4) in the day’s last bout.
Takayasu fell three wins off the pace when he was blasted out of the dohyo by fifth-ranked Tochiozan (9-3).