Ozeki Takakeisho said the detours he took over the years before winning his third title at the New Year Grand Sumo tournament were not in vain.
Takakeisho clinched his first tournament win since November 2020 by beating the lower-ranked Kotoshoho in the final bout in Tokyo on Sunday.
Takakeisho and Kotoshoho had been tied with 11 wins and 3 losses after the 14th day on Saturday.
Takakeisho, who was the single Ozeki on the ranking list in the tournament, lost on the second day, but went on to win eight bouts in a row.
In an online news conference on Monday, Takakeisho said he did not want to end the final day with regret. He had been troubled by injuries since winning his second title in 2020 and often fell short of gaining the title.
He also said although it took 13 tournaments until he secured the third title, he feels the time spent was not in vain.
In the New Year tournament, he had a chance to be promoted to the highest rank of Yokozuna depending on his performance. But his record of 12 wins and three losses means there is no chance for promotion this time.
Takakeisho said that throughout the tournament he was thinking that he would simply do what he needed to do, and perform with confidence. He said he will keep practicing for the next tournament, and do his best for the people who support him.