Hakuho, Sumo's Greatest Wrestler, Announces Retirement

Hakuho, the most successful sumo wrestler in history, made it official Monday announcing to the Japan Sumo Association his decision to retire from the sport. Born Monkhbatyn Davaajargal in Mongolia, his father was an Olympic silver medalist in freestyle wrestling. Moving to Japan at the age of 15 to begin training as a sumo, he joined the Miyagino stable of wrestlers and was given the ring name Hakuho.

Quickly ascending the sport's ladder, Hakuho achieved sumo's highest rank, yokozuna, in 2007 at the age of 22. What followed was an unprecedented streak of success as he went on to collect a total of 45 tournament championships, smashing the previous record of 32 held by Japanese legend Taiho. He also set the record for most wins as a yokozuna and most total career wins with 1187. But recent years have seen him hampered by injuries. A combination of knee trouble and COVID-19 outbreaks in his stable forced him to miss all or part of six straight tournaments before he returned for his final competition this summer, winning the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament with a perfect 15-0 record.

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