Hakuho Out For September Tournament


Earlier today, in Tokyo (via Japan Times), Hakuho announced he would be out (Kyujo) of the September tournament in Tokyo. I am sure that the fans are disappointed, he is disappointed and everyone wants to see this guy defeat all comers like he normally would. But as mentioned earlier, his knee injury, if he does not let it heal, could end his career at this point.

“I’m sorry to the fans,” Hakuho said. “I want work on healing in time for the autumn regional tour and the Kyushu Basho (in November).”

The 31-year-old Mongolian yokozuna had been struggling to prepare for the upcoming 15-day event at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo due to injuries to his left knee and right big toe.

He has stated his desire to remain in the ring until 2020, and doing so require strategic thinking, including making sure that an injury like this is healed. I would hope that he is working with sports medicine specialists, or he gets on a plane and comes to the US to consult one.  The last thing anyone wants now is for his injury from Nagoya to force him into retirement.

This opens the path to Kisenosato, who is the great hope for Japan to once again have a wrestler at the highest rank in Sumo. To do that, he would need to win a tournament. Thus far Hakuho and Harumafuji have been too dominant for that to happen. With the greatest Yokozuna in recorded history benched with a bad knee, Kisenosato may never have a better opportunity.

More from the Japan Times article –

Fans expected Hakuho to be the prime obstacle in ozeki Kisenosato’s bid to become first Japanese-born yokozuna since 1998 — with an Autumn Basho title likely required for his promotion. But Hakuho is wishing his long-time rival good luck.

“Things like these can’t be helped,” he said. “I’d like him to grab the chance. I’m not fighting him this time and would like to join in supporting him (for promotion).”

5 thoughts on “Hakuho Out For September Tournament

  1. The joys of hitting 30…
    And what about Ichinojo ? I haven’t found any recent update about his back pain…

    • Hey Celina – thanks for reading. So here is my humble opinion. Now that “the boss” – decided to heal up, it gives cover to everyone lower on the Banzuke to evaluate the risk of competing hurt.

      I don’t have more data on Ichinojo yet, but he looks hurt, too.

      Don’t be surprised if a few rikishi go kyujo over the next day or two. Going through be an interesting basho for sure.

  2. Big IFs here but, IF Kisenosato wins and is promoted, how long do you think we will have 4 yokozuna? Kisenosato will be expected to win yusho but Harumafuji and Kakuryu will be expected to actually compete in a few. They’ve had a real tough time picking up 12 wins, and Kakuryu has yet to get more than 12 since his promotion two years ago. Will the pressure mount for either (both) to retire?

    • I have worried since day 9 of Nagano that Hakuho was going to be forced into retirement within a year. if he were an NFL line man, that knee is one solid hit from never working properly again. I feel for him as he has a goal and dream connected with the 2020 Tokyo games. i just hope he can get there. Then again, the great Akibono held on for a few years after his body started to give out.

      But i think Kakuryu is a non-competitor with Hakuho (the Boss) around, just as Kisenosato (the Great Pumpkin) is marginalized. The only one who seems to give him consistent trouble is Harumafuji (the Horse). Meanwhile the Horse is going to continue to be the kinboshi machine, I predict.

      Exit question. Who is going to throw the spanner into the gears of the Kise Coronation? I have a crisp tegata that says “Yoshikaze”. The Sumo association, bless their little tabbi, are likely tickled they have the central story arc of Kise’s push for the tsuna, but he still has to get past the Horse and the Berserker (Yoshikaze). Harumafuji tossing him off the dohyo like a stale loaf of bread in Nagano was fairly decisive.

      This could be a really neat basho….


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