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First Georgian to Win Grand Sumo Tournament

By Mariam Chanishvili
Tuesday, January 30
Georgian sumoist, Tochinoshin, whose real name is Levan Gorgadze, became the winner of the Emperor’s Cup and gained the title of the best Sumoist. Tochinoshin has become the first Georgian sumo wrestler to capture the title.

The 30-year-old wrestler practiced a Russian martial art called "sambo" before coming to Japan. He made his debut in a grand sumo tournament in 2006 at the age of 18. He reached the top makuuchi division just two years later in May 2008.

Born in Mtskheta, Gorgadze is a member of the Kasugano stable. His highest rank has been sekiwake.

“This is the greatest. I‘m extremely happy,” said Tochinoshin, who improved his record at the tournament to 13 wins and one defeat, was quoted as saying by Kyodo news agency.

The 14th round of the tournament was held on January 27, where the Georgian defeated Shohazan of Japan and gained victory in the important match.

The Prime Minister and the President of Georgia congratulated Gorgadze on the victory via social media.

"I am proud to congratulate Levan Giorgadze on the victory. He is the first Georgian and third European to earn the Emperor’s Cup," stated Giorgi Margvelashvili.

Tochinoshin’s victory is the highest point after his career was almost ended by a severe knee injury.

The 177 kg (390 pound) Georgian ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament at the tournament in Nagoya in July 2013 and dropped out of the top division after missing three grand tournaments.