Athlete Preparations Underway
As of Sunday June 18th, there are three weeks until the start of the Nagoya basho, and just one week until the release of the banzuke. As stated multiple times, my poor spreadsheet is unable to cope with the chaos coming out of Natsu, so as I put together my guess at a banzuke, please take mine with a huge grain of salt.
The break between Natsu and Nagoya is kind of unusual, in that there is no tour between these tournaments. As a result, many rikishi take small breaks to visit family, travel, consult physicians or just rest.
As reported here earlier, all of Japan seems to have celebrated Takayasu’s Ozeki promotion with gusto, and he has been working hard to further improve his sumo. There have been significant limits on Takayasu’s training, as his sparring partner, Yokozuna Kisenosato has been struggling to overcome injuries to his right pectoral and right arm. His stable has stated without any reservation that Kisenosato will participate in Nagoya for the full 15 days.
Pectoral injuries are tricky matters, and for the most part they require surgery to correct. It’s clear that Kisenosato has not had surgery, and will likely try to “rest and let it heal naturally”.
The good news is that in this past week, Kisenosato has been doing full contact training once more with other rikishi, including Takayasu. Even better news is that he is now training without tape on his chest or arm. This is, in the words of his stable, to get him ready for competition next month.
But reports are that he is still not at full strength on his left side, and is not consistently able to deliver power from his chest with both arms.