Mongolian-born Japanese sumo wrestler Hakuho, considered the sport’s greatest-ever champion, has retired on Monday due to persistent knee trouble and his advancing age.
Yokozuna Deliberation Council chairman Hironori Yano told a news conference that Hakuho conveyed his decision to retire to the Japan Sumo Association mainly because of his right knee injury.
Hakuho had knee surgery in March and only competed in one competition this year, the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament, in July, where he won the event.
Hakuho, whose birth name is Monkhbatyn Davaajargal, is the son of a silver-medal winner for Mongolia in freestyle wrestling at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. He came to Japan at the age of 15 to start his sumo career.
Hakuho’s career spanned 21 years with 1,187 career wins and 1,093 makuuchi division victories.
According to Japan Times, Hakuho claimed “virtually every record of note, and set marks in Japan’s national sport that will likely remain untouched for decades.”
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