Former ozeki Terunofuji commented his remarkable comeback and subsequent victory at the July Grand Sumo Tournament.
The 28-year-old Mongolian paid his respects to those who helped him return to the sport’s top makuuchi division for the first time in 14 tournaments.
“It’s totally different,” Terunofuji said. “This was the result of the support from people around me.”
“I worked hard on my own, but this happened with support. I returned to my original form, so I’m glad that led to a good result.”
Terunofuji finished 13-2 at the first sumo tournament held in four months, because of the coronavirus.
TeruNoFuji receiving Prime Minister’s cup from Hakkaku. You can clearly see their reflections in it. #julybasho2020 pic.twitter.com/Dh5qEoDctS
— SumoSoul 相撲魂 (@TheSumoSoul) August 2, 2020
His only losses came against former ozeki Takayasu on Day 5 and sekiwake Shodai on Day 14
“I was happy,” Terunofuji said. “To be honest, I didn’t expect to win this much. I was thinking I could aim for a special prize if I got 10 wins, but I thought I just wanted to take it day by day.”
“I had a lot of momentum because I won so much in the first half. I only won because I was riding that momentum. I think the next tournament might be tough if I don’t train a little more.”
“I couldn’t stretch (by the end of the tournament). It was hard getting up and down from the raised ring during the award ceremony.”
When asked if he was aiming to return to sumo’s second-highest rank, Terunofuji said, “I’m not thinking about that in particular. I’ll just do whatever I can with all my power.”