Former sekiwake Abi claimed his first elite makuuchi division championship at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday, winning a three-way playoff with fellow rank-and-file wrestler Takayasu and ozeki Takakeisho after the trio finished deadlocked at 12-3.

No. 9 maegashira Abi completed a remarkable turnaround in the 15-day tournament at Fukuoka Kokusai Center, having been forced to sit out the September meet with knee and ankle injuries.

The sport's sole grand champion, Terunofuji, did not compete in Kyushu after undergoing knee surgery.