The Japan Times

Sumo wrestler Hoshoryu vows to aim higher after winning first tournament

Mongolian sumo wrestler Hoshoryu who is likely to be promoted to the second highest rank of Ozeki says he will train harder and aim higher with faith in himself.

Hoshoryu won his first tournament in a playoff against Hokutofuji on Sunday, on the final day of the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament.

He told reporters on Monday that he still cannot believe he actually won. He said he has been congratulated by many people and that their support has made him happy.

Hoshoryu said he tried, but was unable to hold back his tears when he won the tournament. He said that showed how ecstatic he was over his success.

Hoshoryu is a nephew of former Yokozuna Grand Champion Asashoryu, who won 25 tournaments.

He said his uncle congratulated him in a video call. Hoshoryu said it was the first time he had seen the former Yokozuna in tears.

Hoshoryu said he did not sleep well from the middle of the 15-day tournament, due to pressure over his possible promotion to Ozeki.

He said losing a bout on the 12th day made him realize that he had to stay focused.

The Japan Sumo Association is likely to promote Hoshoryu to Ozeki at an extraordinary board meeting on Wednesday.