Ozeki Goeido comfortably defeated sixth-ranked maegashira Tamawashi (9-5) by yorikiri to win his first Emperor’s Cup title at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament on Saturday.
The 30-year-old Goeido, who becomes the fifth oldest man to win his first championship since sumo went to a six-tournament season in 1958, maintained his perfect record on the penultimate day of the 15-day meet.
Endo, the only other wrestler with a mathematical chance at the crown, kept his hopes alive with victory over sekiwake Takayasu – only to see them dashed later by Goeido.
“I just focused on wrestling as hard as I could,” said Goeido, who is the first kadoban ozeki since Bulgarian Kotooshu in 2008 to become champion.
“There was a time when things didn’t go my way, but I’m glad I stuck it out. I concentrated on my performance and took it one bout at a time, which led to this result.
Goeido, who will become the first kadoban ozeki to lift the cup with a 15-0 mark if he beats Kotoshogiku on Sunday, was promoted to ozeki in 2014 and will now be looking for promotion to yokozuna for the year’s last event in November.
“I really can’t think about (promotion to yokozuna) right now. I want to soak up the moment for a little bit,” he added.