Sumo champion Tochinoshin has been awarded the top state title of the Knight of Sports of Georgia following his recent achievements in the Japanese competition.
The athlete, born Levan Gorgadze, was bestowed the highest Georgian award in the field of sports at a reception hosted at the Parliament of Georgia on Tuesday.
It was handed to the 2018 Tokyo Grand Sumo Tournament champion by the Minister of Culture and Sports of Georgia Mikheil Giorgadze to mark both the title and his recent promotion to the rank of Ozeki.
The title-winning athlete was welcomed back in Georgia this week by supporters. Photo: Georgia’s Culture and Sports ministry press office.
Tochinoshin also received accompanying prizes — a copy of the Georgian national Medieval poem The Knight in the Panther’s Skin and a special issue coin for the centennial of the First Democratic Republic of Georgia from parliament speaker Irakli Kobakhidze.
Gorgadze’s visit to Georgia this week was the first time the sumo wrestler travelled to his homeland since the win in the 2018 tournament, also known as The Emperor’s Cup.
He claimed the historic win for Georgian sport in January before also kicking off a new season with a string of victories.
Tochinoshin signs a shirt for his young fan on arrival in Tbilisi. Photo: Georgia’s Culture and Sports ministry press office.
His 10 wins in the spring calendar of fixtures, followed by 12 more winning encounters in the summer season, saw Tochinoshin promoted to the second-highest sumo rank of Ozeki last month.
The Knight of Sports award was preceded for the wrestler by the Order of Honour of Georgia, presented by Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili in February.
Born in the central Georgian city of Mtskheta, Gorgadze has competed in 71 basho tournaments in sumo since 2006. He has won three Juryo Division Championships and two Makushita Division Championships.
The full statistics of Tochinoshin’s performances, as well as his awards, can be viewed on his profile page here.