Photo/IllutrationTochinoshin, who won the Emperor’s Cup at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament, speaks to reporters at a news conference held at Kasugano stable in Tokyo’s Sumida Ward on Jan. 29. (Yuki Shibata)

Sumo sensation Tochinoshin may be the biggest thing in the sport after his New Year Grand Sumo Tournament victory, but lifting the massive Emperor’s Cup was a task even for him, he admitted Jan. 29.

“It was so heavy,” said Tochinoshin with a broad grin, speaking to reporters about the moment he was presented with the trophy on Jan. 28, the last day of the tournament, after finishing with an outstanding 14-1 mark.

“I will never forget it,” he said.

During a news conference at Kasugano stable, to which Tochinoshin belongs, the 30-year-old Georgian wrestler also told how he felt when embracing stablemaster Kasugano, the former sekiwake Tochinowaka, after his clinching Jan. 27 win over maegashira No. 9 Shohozan.

“Several years ago, (Kasugano) told me that he would clutch me to his chest if I won,” Tochinoshin said at the stable in Tokyo’s Sumida Ward. “I was so glad that I made it come true.”

When asked how it felt to win the title while wearing a “mawashi” (sumo belt) given to him by his stablemaster, the rank-and-filer simply replied bashfully, “I’ve made it.”

Tochinoshin, a maegashira No. 3, was busy celebrating at the Kasugano stable on the night of Jan. 28.

He spoke with his wife, who recently gave birth in Georgia, on the phone.

“(My wife) was crying too much to speak,” he said.

The sumo champion said he might be able to see his first daughter before summer. His baby girl, who was born about two and a half months ago, now weighs more than 7 kilograms.