Ozeki Kaio makes his retirement official


Just days after setting the record for the most wins in sumo, veteran wrestler ozeki Kaio officially announced his retirement on Wednesday. He made the announcement on the 11th day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo tournament after falling to a win-loss record of 3-7 on Tuesday.

The 38-year-old Kaio beat Mongolian Kyokutenho last Thursday to post his 1,046th career win, surpassing former grand champion Chiyonofuji for most wins.

The setting of a new record was a welcome return of the sumo spotlight to events inside the ring rather than the gambling and corruption scandal which had blighted the sport in recent times.

Kaio began his sumo career in 1988 and appeared in a total of 65 tournaments at ozeki, sumo's second-highest rank.

His poor record at the Nagoya tournament meant he would have needed to win his remaining five bouts to avoid facing demotion at the autumn meet in September.

"I talked to my coach Monday and we discussed retirement if I lost on Tuesday," said Kaio. "It hasn't really sunk in yet but I have no regrets."

Since 2005, Kaio suffered from various injuries and rumors of retirement surfaced whenever he struggled in a tournament. He won a total of five Emperor's Cups.

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I had to go back three days to this article to congratulate Harumafuji on his victory over Hakuho and his second yusho.

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Any other sumo news, JT? Like maybe.... oh... the basho currently in progress???

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Kaio was a veteran when I first came to Japan yonks ago, if anything I will remember him for durability. Good on him for making history though, it was all worth it!

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It's great he could break the record before he got out, especially given his many injuries.

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I don't like the idea of retiring mid-competition, unless there is an injury. In my mind, real sportsmen fight until the very end. Good on him, but it seems he just broke the record by default via for hanging around forever. He was never going to retire on top, but at least retire showing some fight!

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i love him so much, one of my favourites, please dont retire, you will be missed, sumo will not be the same because you are a total legend, you are one of the best and most loved sumo wrestlers, your record wont be easily surpassed, Pease do not give up! Totally devastating news!

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Well done Kaio!

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