Yokozuna Hakuho smiles holding a sea bream, a celebratory item in Japan, in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, on March 22, 2013, after beating sekiwake Goeido on the 13th day of the 15-day Spring Grand Sumo Tournament on March 22, 2013. Hakuho secured the Emperor's Cup for the 24th time, capturing the title with two days to spare.
Harumafuji--Hakuho's biggest rival and the defending champion--tossed out sekiwake Goeido, but still has a three-bout deficit to make up with just four days left.
Yokozuna Hakuho extended his lead at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Nov. 22, marking his 11th win, as new yokozuna Harumafuji was sent into the dirt again for his second straight defeat and his third of the competition.
Harumafuji, the defending champion after two perfect 15-0 finishes, came out strong but faltered as sekiwake Myogiryu (4-8) broke his belthold. The Mongolian looked like he would get back in the fight, but then fell as Myogiryu twisted to the side while Harumafuji tried to shove him over the edge.
Hakuho will appear as the lone grand champion for the 14th time as he aims to put behind him a disappointing tournament as the Japan Sumo Association released the rankings for the upcoming Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament on Monday.
The Mongolian yokozuna, who had a lackluster 10-5 mark at the summer basho in May, will match former yokozuna Haguroyama for holding the rank in his 30th basho -- the 10th longest on the all-time list.
Defending champion Hakuho proved he's a tough contender even with a broken finger May 18 by dealing a painful defeat to leader Kisenosato, who falls to a 10-3 tie with two rank-and-file wrestlers--Tochiozan and Kyokutenho--that could mean the title race in the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament will go right down to the wire.