(Update 2) Sumo Grand Champion Hakuho to Retire
Tokyo, Sept. 27 (Jiji Press)--Mongolian-born yokozuna sumo grand champion Hakuho has submitted a request to retire, a Japan Sumo Association spokesperson revealed on Monday.
Although the 36-year-old sumo wrestler belonging to the Miyagino stable finished the Nagoya grand tournament in July undefeated to claim his record 45th tournament title, he has not fully recovered from injuries, including one to his right knee.
Hakuho, together with his fellow stablemates, missed the entire autumn grand tournament this month after wrestlers at the Miyagino stable tested positive for COVID-19.
Hakuho will be the first yokozuna to retire since Kakuryu, who announced his retirement in March. Hakuho is now expected to become a stable master after taking formal procedures.
After making his sumo debut in 2001, Hakuho became the 69th yokozuna at the age of 22, following the summer tournament held in May 2007. Helped by his outstanding reflexes and his grappling and pushing techniques, Hakuho collected championship titles one after another.