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.