Retired Yokozuna Kakuryu holds news conference

Former Yokozuna Grand Champion Kakuryu, who retired from sumo on Wednesday, held a news conference to explain his decision.

Kakuryu sat at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan with his stable master Michinoku for a video conference on Thursday.

The former yokozuna said he wanted to return to the ring once again, but his body reached its limits, and his motivation gradually waned.

Kakuryu expressed his gratitude for the Japan Sumo Association for allowing him to sit out a number of tournaments due to injuries. He said he decided it was time to retire.

Looking back on his sumo career of about 20 years, he said he came to Japan from his native Mongolia at the age of 16 with the aspiration to become a sumo wrestler. He said he got promoted steadily and finally reached the highest rank of yokozuna, making his dream come true.

Kakuryu said he is thankful that he has grown as a person as well as a sumo wrestler.

Kakuryu said that he wants to train young wrestlers.
He also said teaching others is very difficult and he has so much to learn about how to train someone to be a wrestler strong enough to become yokozuna or ozeki.