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Hakuho wins 33rd championship to rewrite sumo history

January 23, 2015

TOKYO (AP) — 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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