Sumo’s most decorated wrestler, East Yokozuna Hakuho, has officially retired from the sport at the age of 36.

Originally from Mongolia, Hakuho moved to Japan at the age 15 with the aim to become a
professional Sumo wrestler. Since making his debut in the Makuuchi Division in 2001,
Hakuho has won 45 career titles, as well as over 1000 individual victories, making him the
most successful fighter to ever compete in the sport.

While sad for most of us, the East Yokozuna’s decision to exit the sport isn’t overly
surprising; with Hakuho having missed five prestigious events over the last year due to a
knee injury and illness since, as well as a possible forced retirement from the Sumo
governing body, the elite wrestler looked ever closer to finally ending his illustrious career.

Despite this, Hakuho looked to be making a come-back to the sport after his spectacular
display in the 2021 July tournament; in his first full Basho since March 2020, he managed to baffle fans across the world by winning the event with a perfect 15:0 score, defeating
Terunofuji, this month’s victor, on the Final Day of the event to take the yūshō.

“Before the tournament, I never expected to win the championship with a record of no
defeats at this age; I’m just relieved…But with
this victory, I am feeling I can fight again.”

Hakuho, after winning the July Basho 2021.

However, after missing this month’s Basho due to Coronavirus issues in his stable, Hakuho’s
future in the sport became all too clear; the legendary fighter announced his official
retirement from Sumo wrestling due to age and injury concerns.

Although Hakuho will no longer compete as a professional wrestler, he is reportedly
considering opening his very own stable in the future, in order to show gratitude to his
beloved sport. Having obtained Japanese citizenship in 2019, Hakuho has earnt the right to become an oyakata (stable coach) in his old stable: Magaki.

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