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Tochinoshin wins first Sumo Grand Championship


Tochinoshin became the first Georgian to win the Emperor's Cup yesterday, after sealing an outstanding 14-1 record in the New Year Tournament.

Not only was it an impressive performance, it marks an incredible comeback for the 30-year-old after dropping a whopping 55 places in the rankings following a career-threatening injury.

It's common to see wrestlers struggling with injury and trying to return to competition early to avoid being demoted, which often leads to sub-par performances and partial absences in tournaments. To give an example, this tournament saw two of the three current yokozuna withdraw from the tournament early on, and the one remaining - Kakuryu - missed the bulk of last year through injury.

Tochinoshin, in contrast, took the time to heal properly and work his way back to health (although his knee was bandaged again in this tournament), then shock everybody by taking the championship with a day to spare. He duly wrapped up the final day by beating crowd favourite Endo.

To put his achievement in context, only two people have managed to come back from such a low rank to claim a championship, and one them was yokozuna great Chiyonofuji.


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