Georgia-born Tochinoshin wins first sumo title

Georgia-born Tochinoshin wins first sumo title

A sumo wrestler from Georgia has clinched his first ever title in the sport's grand tournament.

Tochinoshin secured the championship on Saturday, the 14th day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo. He has lost only one bout so far in the 15 day tourney.

Tochinoshin has become the 1st rank-and-filer to win a grand sumo tournament in 6 years. He has also become the first Georgian sumo wrestler to capture the title.

The 30-year-old wrestler practiced a Russian martial art called "sambo" before coming to Japan.

He made his debut in a grand sumo tournament in 2006 at the age of 18.

He reached the top "makuuchi" division just 2 years later in 2008 and then was promoted to the fourth-highest rank of "komusubi" in 2010.

But Tochinoshin fell to a lower "makushita" division after he missed 4 consecutive tournaments due to a knee injury.

Other foreign champion sumo wrestlers in the past have come from the United States, Mongolia, Bulgaria, and Estonia.