Tochinoshin Makes History at New Year’s Basho

Tochinoshin from Georgia claimed the New Year’s Grand Sumo Tournament title on Jan. 27, becoming the first rank-and-file makuuchi to win a basho since Kyokutenho in 2012.

Tochinoshin clinched the tournament championship, the first sumo title of his career, by defeating Shohozan to improve to 13-1 in Tokyo.

“This is the greatest. I’m extremely happy,” Tochinoshin, who came in as a No. 3 maegashira, said. “I never thought this day would come.

“I felt, ‘I’ve done it!’ but I suppressed it. I don’t want to show tears or emotion in the ring. That is something I learned from my stablemaster.”

Tochinoshin also became the third sumo wrestler from Europe to win a grand sumo tournament, joining Estonia’s Baruto and Bulgaria’s Kotooshu.

Notable moments from the rest of the day included ozeki Goeido defeating sekiwake Mitakeumi, putting them at 8-6. And ozeki Takayasu improved to 11-3 after defeating yokozuna Kakuryu, who has lost four straight after starting the tournament 10-0.

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