Sumo wrestler Tochinoshin has been promoted to Ozeki, the sport's second highest rank. He is the third wrestler from Europe and the first from Georgia to reach the rank.
The Japan Sumo Association officially decided on the promotion on Wednesday. The decision was conveyed to Tochinoshin and his stable master, Kasugano, in a ceremony.
Tochinoshin told sumo association officials that he humbly accepts the promotion. He said he will follow the teachings of his stable master and work hard to become a role model for other wrestlers.
Tochinoshin won 13 of 15 bouts in the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament that ended on Sunday. He also won a total of 37 bouts in the last 3 tournaments, more than the 33 win benchmark for promotion.
He tied the record for being the slowest wrestler to become an Ozeki. He has taken part in 60 tournaments since his debut in the top Makunouchi division in 2008.
The 2 other Ozeki-ranked wresters from Europe are Bulgarian-born Kotooshu and Estonian wrestler Baruto.