The Georgian sumo wrestler Levan Gorgadze, known as Tochinoshin, has become the first Georgian and the third European sumo wrestlers who managed to be promoted to the second-highest rank of sumo- Ozeki.
Georgian Sumo Wrestler Tochinoshin Becomes 3rd in Europe with His New Rank
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, May 31
Ozeki in Japanese means a champion. Those who have the title have only one step remained to gain the highest rank in the sport- Yokozuna, which means undefeated champion.
Holding the third-ranked title of Sekiwake, Tochinoshin has exhibited a consistent form in the summer calendar, claiming 12 consecutive victories.
He capped the impressive consistency with defeating Hakuho on May 24, a sumo champion holding the highest title of Yokozuna.
Hakuho has been the only active yokozuna from 2010, following the retirement of his rival and fellow Mongolian Asashoryu, until 2012 with the promotion of fellow Mongolian Harumafuji.
In January 2015, Hakuho broke Taiho's long-standing record by winning his 33rd top division championship.. He holds the records for most wins in the top division, achieved in May 2016, and most career wins, achieved in July 2017. He has been ranked as a yokozuna for a record 64 tournaments.
The Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili congratulated Tochinoshin on the new title via his official Twitter page.
Tochinoshin has been victorious in 36 fixtures of the last three sumo competitions, which exceeds the necessary result for attaining the Ozeki title.
Tochinoshin took an oath for the new rank yesterday in Tokyo, holding a Georgian flag.
During the most recent sumo championship, which was completed on May 26, Tochinoshin became the vice-champion with 13 victories and two losses. During his 13th fight his hand bones which made it complicated for him to win the competition.
Despite the trauma Tochinoshin continued the competition and won one out of two remaining fights.
The wrestler and a winner of the championship, Yokozuna Kakuryu, won 14 fights, one more than Tochinoshin.
Born in Mtskheta, Georgia, Gorgadze has competed in 71 basho tournaments in sumo since 2006. He has won three Juryo Division Championships and two Makushita Division Championships.