Hakuho beats Taiho's record by winning 33rd title


Mongolian grand champion Hakuho beat Kisenosato at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday to capture his 33rd title and move ahead of Taiho as the most successful wrestler in Japan's ancient sport.

Hakuho forced out Kisenosato in the day's final bout before a capacity crowd at Ryogoku Kokugikan to improve to an insurmountable 13-0 while securing the Emperor's Cup with two days to spare.

Kisenosato, who dropped to 10-3, was one of two rikishi who still had a chance to deny Hakuho his history-making title. Grand champion Harumafuji was the other, but he lost the previous bout to fellow Mongolian and grand champion Kakuryu to give both wrestlers a 10-3 record.

Taiho's 32nd championship came in January 1971.

At 29, Hakuho has a chance to extend his championship run even further.

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Congratulations to Hakuho who is the new champion of champions of the Sumo world. He deserves to be the top wrestler of all times. I further wish him good luck and many more championships over the next couple of years.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Way to go, Hakuho! I was rooting for you all the way! Keep going!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Masterful performances. He deserves all the accolades ! The JSA (Japan Sumo Association) may not feel the same. I watch on TV Japan here, and all the commentators never fail to mention how nice it will be to get a Japanese yokozuna. Again, Omedetou Yokozuna Hakuho ! (He might even take it to 40 !)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Congrats to Hakuho. No matter what anyone says, he is the greatest Sumo wrestler to grace the ring, and his record proves it. He is now the record holder and is therefore the most superior wrestler in the history of the sport. I was talking with people about all the sports tournaments going on today and of course they revolved mostly around soccer and tennis, but we touched on sumo briefly. Sadly one of the men in our group is one of the ultra-right variety who says no matter if Hakuho wins this Cup or not he will NEVER be a true sumo wrestler because he does not behave like a proper sumo wrestler should. When I told him that has nothing to do with performance he just pouted and said Taiho will still be champ. Oops. With the Samurai Blue just dropping the ball this evening this is a hard day for some nationalistic fans. If they truly love the sport, they would love the accomplishment of Hakuho, regardless of nationality. The TRUE lack of respect is only recognizing champions when it suits you.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Imagine how many tournaments Taiho might have won had Sandanoyama, Kashiwado, or Tamanoumi been kicked out of sumo. Keep in mind that all three of those yokozuna combined didn't win as many tournaments as Asashoryu did. Hakuho has set a great mark, but Hakuho was only able to accomplish this feat in the wake of Asashoryu being forced to resign. No doubt, Hakuho is a great wrestler, and Asashoryu was slowing by the time he retired such that Hakuho was starting to beat him more often than not. But Asashoryu won three of his last seven tournaments after his injury comeback, including his last two tournaments. Had Asashoryu continued, Hakuho would likely still be a year or two away from Taiho's mark. There's always that lingering doubt about what would have happened if sumo hadn't forced Asashoryu out. Harumafuji is a worthy yokozuna, but not nearly as impressive a rival for Hakuho as Asashoryu was.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hakua is a truly great Yokosuna, and it is a joy to watch him.

Still, no one should forget how many bashos he would have won, had they not fired Asashoryu....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@volland yes totally agree, Asashoryu was the only wrestler who was Hakuhos equal. and im a fan of both wrestlers. probably slightly more towards Asashoryu because he wasnt afraid to break the mould and show his emotions, which is why so many people loved him. many Japanese would say that even Hakuho isnt the true champ because he doesnt act like a Japanese Yokozuna. as Smith said acting like a japanese yokozuna certainly doesnt make you perform any better. otherwise foreign born yokozuna would be dominating Sumo for the last 15+ years

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I can't believe it! After all this, Hakuho actually did it! Well done! Heartfelt congratulations to the all-time Grand Champion of Sumo, Hakuho Sho!

Fans of sumo everywhere should be proud of this Mongolian wrestling master. He's revitalizing a moribund, dying sport and giving fans old and new something to look forward to: broken records! Most championships ever? Check! Most undefeated championships ever? Check! Most wins in a calendar year ever? Check! Second-longest winning streak in modern sumo history? Check! And the fact that Hakuho's won a tournament 33 times in just 10 years (since he first won a top championship-2006-2015: and this despite a cancelled tournament in 2011 to boot) while the last record holder Taiho took 12 years to accomplish his 32 wins (1960-1971) is yet more testament to this rekishi's amazing staying power. (And he ain't done yet!)

Next up: win two more matches for your 11th undefeated career competition so you can really CELEBRATE IN STYLE!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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