Hakuho captured his fifth consecutive title on Sunday, defeating rank-and-filer Toyonoshima in a playoff on the final day of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.
The Mongolian grand champion, who rebounded from the devastation of failing to tie yokozuna great Futabayama’s all-time wins streak of 69 bouts, was cooler than ice in his final match of the year after both wrestlers ended regulation with 14-1 records at Fukuoka Kokusai Center.
The victory was Hakuho’s career 17th, the yokozuna overcoming the psychological bump of losing to Kisenosato on the second day of the 15-day meet, which snapped his winning run at 63 bouts.
His career-best fifth straight title is third in the record books behind former yokozuna wrestlers Asashoryu and Taiho, who had seven and six, respectively.
Hakuho took the charge from Toyonoshima, a former sekiwake who is currently a No. 9 maegashira, and calmly shoved his opponent down from the rear after deftly maneuvering around him.
‘‘This year there was a lot that happened, so I really wanted to finish off strong,’’ said Hakuho, who is second on the all-time list for consecutive wins. ‘‘I am really tired. I wasn’t able to break Futabyama’s record but I believe I did repay some of my debt of gratitude,’’ he said.
Read the rest of the story: Hakuho wins 5th consecutive Emperor’s Cup.