TOKYO - Hakuho twisted down fellow yokozuna Harumafuji to win his 29th Emperor's Cup title on Sunday's final day of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Hakuho (14-1) needed to win to avoid a playoff against ozeki Kisenosato, and he had little trouble knocking off fellow Harumafuji, who ended the tournament at 11-4.
"I'm really thrilled to have won my 29th championship at the age of 29," Hakuho said during the tournament interview.
Kisenosato did what he had to do to try and force a playoff. He slapped Kakuryu enough to get the new yokozuna near the bails, and finished him off with a forward thrust to get him out of the ring for his 13th win at the basho.
But Hakuho ended thoughts of a playoff by manhandling Harumafuji in the middle of the ring after the tachiai. Hakuho is now two behind Chiyonofuji and three shy of Taiho for the all-time lead in tournament victories.
Kisenosato was trying to become the first Japanese wrestler to win the Emperor's Cup since 2006, when ozeki Tochiazuma won the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.
Kakuryu had a disappointing 9-6 finish in his debut tourney as a yokozuna.