Yokozuna Kisenosato’s Second Defeat


Competed In Spite Of Painful Injury

In a move that surprised many, Yokozuna Kisenosato decided that he would not withdraw from Haru, and in fact mounted the dohyo to face Yokozuna Kakuryu on day 14. After Friday’s injury, many in the sumo press as well as myself expected Kisenosato to be barred from further competition by his doctor. Sumo association officials were very tight lipped about the exact nature of his injury and his condition. In information from the Japanese press (thanks to Kintamayama):

“This morning we had a chat about various things. He said he would like to participate today. He is strongly motivated.,” said his Oyakata Tagonoura. His condition? “He can move. There are two days left and there other other rikishi. He is a bit better than yesterday.. I’ll watch today’s bout and if it’s really bad we might have to reconsider..But if he will be OK he will appear on the last day as well. He will of course be doing the Yokozuna dohyo-iri and will move his body” added the Oyakata, not divulging much.

With Kisenosato’s loss, Terunofuji steps into sole the lead in the yusho race. The championship will be decided on day 15, when the injured Kisenosato faces Terunofuji in the second to last bout of the day. Tachiai hopes that Terunofuji has all of that henka nonsense out of his system, and faces Kisenosato like an Ozeki.

7 thoughts on “Yokozuna Kisenosato’s Second Defeat

  1. The henka by Terunofuji was an unbelievable disappointment after exhibiting good sumo throughout the rest of the tournament.

    I really hope Kisenosato doesn’t do permanent damage by pushing through.

    • I’ve been worried about Terunofuji on those knees…apparently, he’s fine. :) I hope Kisenosato’s recovery I quicker. My wife mentioned Chiyonofuji’s shoulder used to pop out frequently so I hope Kise’s doesn’t start doing the same.

    • There are many questions around Terunofuji’s decision to employ a henka, and in the context it was used, that may keep him from being considered for Yokozuna until he meets with approval from the YDC. They insist that in addition to consistently excellent sumo, a Yokozuna conduct himself with a certain manner. I would assume the YDC would not approve of today’s match by Terunofuji. But I would say that if he can continue to compete at this level, with the dominance he has displayed, they may be forced to give him a rope after a few more basho, if he turns in wins.

      • Agreed. I know it’s a different time now, but looking at how things have been handled historically particularly with foreign rikishi, I have a hard time believing he would be promoted with anything less than a zensho-yusho in May. He had been incredible so far but he stole a win today as if he had been facing a make-koshi and for no reason.

    • The next basho will be fascinating. I hope Kise’s healed, I’m not sure if Giku will retire…will Goeido be healthy? Hakuho? So many open questions…

  2. It will be interesting to see how the YDC view the performances of Harumafuji and, in particular, Kakuryu over the course of the next year. Truthfully, Kakuryu has been underwhelming the past two basho and his results haven’t been up to much for a yokozuna. He was injured last time but this he is moving quite well and has given away a number of defeats.


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