As Bruce has written about pretty extensively, Hakuho will return to the dohyo in Fukuoka. This will be the first tournament in his entire career where he will be ranked behind the other two yokozuna. He’s dropped to Yokozuna West a handful of times but seeing him out of “top dog” status is making people wonder if the end of his career is in sight. I hope not. The Aki Basho was the first he has missed since 2006. His longevity and health has us spoiled. Chiyonofuji missed 6 tournaments over his career, not including another six tournaments where he pulled out early due to injury. Again, Hakuho has only done that once. He’s been scary healthy. Wicked healthy. I wouldn’t start worrying until he begins taking consecutive tournaments off…or loses heart. Let’s face it, he’s got almost all of the records and the only thing that can really stop Hakuho is himself. 白鵬、頑張れ！
One thought on “Kyushu Storyline #6: Hakuho’s Health”
There were some reports (not well correlated) that Hakuho twisted his ankle near the end of Jungyo, and took at least one day off. But he has looked solid since then, and I am expecting him to have a good basho. Not sure if he is going to have a super strong start, but we only have to wait a few more hours to find out.
The last two weeks, he has been practicing like mad, especially with his protégées who are now in Makuuchi. I also think he has dropped a few more kilograms since the end of Jungyo, and I am really looking forward to see if it has a positive impact on his performance.