Hakuho says arm injured early in title-clinching win
OSAKA, Japan (The Japan News/ANN) - Yokozuna Hakuho expressed relief at winning his record-extending 42nd career title in which he was pushed to the very end at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament, and revealed the price he paid in the form of an arm injury.
“I feel like I’m just glad it’s finally over,” Hakuho said Monday in Osaka at the traditional day-after press conference for the tournament champion.
Hakuho’s championship was his 15th with a perfect 15-0 record, which he clinched with a victory on the final day Sunday over fellow yokozuna Kakuryu.
But in doing so, the 34-year-old Mongolian suffered an injury to his right bicep, which he said occurred early in the bout that lasted over a minute.
“That’s why when I tried to move forward, I couldn’t move him,” Hakuho said.
Asked about the extent of the injury, he replied, “Probably [the muscle or tendon] is torn.”
Hakuho said he can better sympathize with former yokozuna Kisenosato (current sumo elder Araiso), who recently retired due to the effects of an injury to his left chest area.
“I kind of get a feeling of what he went through,” Hakuho said.
Hakuho, who underwent treatment for the arm injury the previous night, said he has more mobility, adding that he will rest for the time being to allow it to heal.
As for the regional tour scheduled to start March 31, he said he will decide in three or four days whether to participate.
Meanwhile, sekiwake Takakeisho, 22, also met the press to talk about his imminent promotion to the second-highest rank of ozeki for the next tournament.
“I did a good job of maintaining myself physically and mentally,” said Takakeisho, who bounced back from a loss on the 14th day for a crucial win on the last day to finish 10-5. “It’s really a relief.”