Photo/IllutrationDefeating ozeki Goeido, Yokozuna Kakuryu clinches his fourth career title at the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament in Osaka on March 24. (Taku Hosokawa)

OSAKA--Yokozuna Kakuryu won the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament here March 24 with an easy victory over ozeki Goeido on the penultimate day.

It was the fourth career title for the Mongolian wrestler, and his first since November 2016. His only loss came on Day 12.

Prior to the tournament, Kakuryu said he was not in the best physical shape due to chronic injuries, including one to his right hand.

Even so, he did what was expected of a yokozuna and remained in the lead throughout the tournament held at the Edion Arena Osaka.

Fellow yokozuna Hakuho and Kisenosato sat out the 15-day tournament due to injuries.

After Kakuryu’s loss to sekiwake Tochinoshin, the champion of the last tournament, on Day 12, maegashira No. 6 Kaisei, with two losses, was just one bout behind Kakuryu.

But Kaisei was further distanced when he was easily floored in a showdown with the yokozuna on Day 13.

With the defeat, Kaisei joined ozeki Takayasu and maegashira No. 14 Ikioi, all with three losses, hedging their bets on a play-off on the final day of the tourney. But Kakuryu dashed their hopes.

“I entered the tournament with hopes of delighting my fans who have supported me all along, and I am relieved to win,” Kakuryu said after his victorious bout.

The past year has been a tough one for Kakuryu as he sat out four tournaments in a row.

He was promoted to sumo’s highest rank in 2014.