Sekiwake Mitakeumi emerged from a three-way tie on the final day of the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo on Sept. 22 to take the championship by beating sekiwake Takakeisho in a tie-breaker.

The triumph marked Mitakeumi’s second career championship, following his Emperor’s Cup in the Nagoya Grand Sumo Tournament in July 2018.

In the champion's interview, Mitakeumi said, “It feels great to win the title. Winning the first championship in the Nagoya tournament was like plain luck. But I was rewarded this time after setting the goal of winning the title and making the effort.”

Asked how he felt on the morning of Day 15, the 26-year-old wrestler said, “When I woke up, people around me were preparing a celebration event, so I felt that I had no choice but to win.”

As the two yokozuna, Hakuho and Kakuryu, dropped out of the 15-day race on Day 2 and Day 8, respectively, due to injuries, the tourney was thrown wide open with packs of wrestlers vying for the lead.

At the end of Day 14, Mitakeumi remained one of the three front-runners along with Takakeisho and Okinoumi, a maegashira No. 8, with three losses.

On Day 15, Takakeisho easily defeated Okinoumi while Mitakeumi also finished with a 12-3 record by quickly pushing out komusubi Endo.

In the playoff, Mitakeumi came out strong from the start, pushing Takakeisho backward and out of the dohyu.

Although Takakeisho did not win the tournament, he put in a fine performance to ensure his return to ozeki, the second-highest rank in the Makuuchi division, exceeding the 10 wins he needed.

Takekeisho fell from the ozeki rank after dropping out of the May tournament in Tokyo and missed the July competition in Nagoya due to an injury to his right knee.