Hakuho (Davaajargal Munkhbat)

Hakuho, UNESCO Champion for Sport

Hakuho Sho is a professional Sumo wrestler. Born Munkhbat Davaajargal on 11 March 1985 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, he is the sixth foreign-born wrestler to reach to rank of Ozeki. Like many of his countrymen in the sumo world, Hakuho comes from a family with Mongolian wrestling tradition. His father Jigjid Munkhbat was a grand champion in Mongolian wrestling and a national hero and he won a silver medal in freestyle wrestling at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico.

When Hakuho was 15, he came to Japan and had practically no experience in Mongolian sumo. Weighing only 62 kilograms, no sumo training stables recruited him. Hearing this, a Mongolian wrestler, Kyokushuzan, asked his sumo stables master for a help, and Hakuho at last was approved to a sumo stable, Miyagino-beya, on the last day of his two-month stay in Japan. He first fought on the ring in March 2001, with steadily gaining weight rose to Juryo division in January 2004 and to Makuuchi division in May of the same year. He immediately attracted attention for his strong yori (body push) and his powerful nage (throwing technique), and a number of observers referred to him as a "future yokozuna."

His results in the following tournaments – he even defeated the dominating Yokozuna Asashoryu once – were sufficient to get him a promotion to Komusubi as fast as January 2005 and Sekiwake only one basho later. However, he was prevented from becoming the youngest Ozeki in sumo history by an injury, which forced him to take an injury leave from Nagoya Basho 2005. In March 2006, Hakuho was promoted to Ozeki. The promotion came just a few weeks after his twenty first birthday, making him the fourth youngest wrestler to reach the title in the modern sumo history. At his first tournament as Ozeki in May 2006, Hakuho won his first Championship. Hakuho intends to become the second currently active yokozuna, alongside Asashoryu - who, like Hakuho, hails from Mongolia.

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