Takerufuji: Historic sumo victory 'beyond wildest dreams'

Japanese sumo wrestler Takerufuji says he never dreamed that he would get this far after becoming the first top-division rookie to win a tournament in 110 years.

Takerufuji won his first championship on Sunday, the final day of the Spring Grand Tournament. The Makuuchi division newcomer clinched his title in Osaka with 13 wins and two losses.

The 24-year-old wrestler held a news conference on Monday.

He says his performance was "beyond his wildest dreams" and he's truly glad he fought on through the last day of the 15-day tournament.

Takerufuji injured his right ankle on the 14th day and left the ring in a wheelchair.

He says his stablemate Terunofuji had encouraged him to keep going. The Yokozuna Grand Champion has won nine tournaments.

He says Terunofuji told him he could do it, and reminded him that he had set out to make memories, not records. He says he was told the opportunity would never repeat itself.

Takerufuji says, "A switch flipped and I was able to walk as if I had 'a second self.' " He says it was eerie.

Takerufuji says he was determined to stay in control of his feelings. He says he wanted to grasp the championship with his own hands and went into the final bout ready for action.

Takerufuji says a wrestler can never experience too many championships. He says he will work hard not to miss a chance, and will just have to believe in himself.

The last Makuuchi division rookie to win a championship was Ryogoku in 1914.