Low-ranking underdog sumo wrestler bursts into tears after winning top-division tournament

A sumo wrestling underdog just won against a champion — and promptly burst into tears.

Athlete Tokushoryu was the lowest-ranked competitor at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo, meaning his win marks him as the first bottom-ranked wrestler to win a top-division title since 2000.

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But perhaps even sweeter than his unpredictable victory is his reaction after pushing his opponent, Takakeisho, out of the dohyo ring. When he realizes what he’d accomplished, he immediately bursts into tears.

Video footage shared on Twitter by a sumo wrestling fan shows the intense moment that culminates in his big victory and rare display of emotion.

Takakeisho is an ozeki champion wrestler, which is one of the highest ranks in the sport.

Some spectators, according to the BBC, said the 414-pound Tokushoryu alternated between crying and laughing.

“I might have cried too much, but at that moment I felt relieved from all the pressure,” the 33-year-old competitor said post-win, according to local news agency Kyodo.

“Deep down I’m feeling like: ‘Is it OK for me to win the championship?’ I was the lowest-ranking fighter, so I had nothing to fear. I just had to give it everything I had.”

Tokushoryu said the sudden death of his coach, which happened midway through the competition, inspired him to win “for him,” he told Kyodo.

“Since the start , I’d been thinking, if I give it all I have, that will be plenty,” he said.

“If I do my best on the opening charge, I can live with the results that follow. I’d done it my way all along, and the final day was the same.”

He’d spent the last 13 tournaments fighting in a second-tier rank.

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According to The Guardian, Tokushoryu was still having trouble believing what he’d achieved.

“What have I done?” he said. “It feels like a dream. I don’t feel like myself. I feel like I’m walking on clouds.”

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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