Ozeki Kakuryu won his first Emperor's Cup on Sunday, beating ozeki Kotoshogiku on the final day of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka and most likely ensuring promotion to yokozuna.
"I'm so happy. I can't find any other words to describe my feelings," Kakuryu (14-1) said. "I've just stayed focused on doing my kind of sumo this basho."
Both yokozuna finished the 15-day tournament with 12 wins as Harumafuji forced out Hakuho in a replay at the Bodymaker Colosseum.
For an ozeki to be promoted to yokozuna, he must win two consecutive tournaments or achieve equally impressive results. Kakuryu narrowly missed winning a title in January's New Year tournament when he lost to yokozuna Hakuho in a playoff after posting a 14-1 record.
Chances are high Kakuryu will be promoted to yokozuna, as the Japan Sumo Association Chairman Kitanoumi gave Kakuryu's performance high marks this tournament. "It's quite significant to have beaten both yokozuna. He has accumulated wins in a splendid manner," Kitanoumi said Saturday.
If Kakuryu, 28, receives the promotion, he will be the third active Mongolian-born yokozuna and fourth overall.