(Reuters) – Goeido became the first “kadoban” ozeki in sumo history to win an Emperor’s Cup with an unblemished record after he registered his 15th victory by defeating fellow ozeki Kotoshogiku at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Sunday.
Goeido, who had already secured his first title on Saturday, came into the tournament under pressure as his kadoban status meant he needed at least eight wins to avoid demotion from his ozeki rank at the Ryogoku Kokugikan arena in Tokyo.
Rather than a drop to sekiwake, the Sakaigawa stable wrestler can now look forward to a bid for promotion to yokozuna (grand champion) at the year’s last meet in Kyushu in November.
“To be perfectly honest, I haven’t given it much thought,” said Goeido, who became the first wrestler since Musashimaru in 1994 to claim a maiden title with a 15-0 mark.
“But I’ll keep working hard toward the next tournament. Winning the title is finally starting to sink in. I’m absolutely thrilled. I took it one day at a time, just focusing on the bout that day.
“The thought of a title started crossing my mind from the 10th day. It was an experience I never went through before.”
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien)