Terunofuji Withdraws from Hatsu Basho

Tachiai has learned that former Ozeki Terunofuji has withdrawn from the 2018 Hatsu Basho. This marks the fourth tournament in a row that Terunofuji has been forced to leave prematurely due to crippling lower body issues. As stated in a post article this Sunday by Tachiai writer Herouth, merely resting back at Isegahana beya has not been enough to bring the once mighty Kaiju back to health, and has only contributed to his weight gain.

To reiterate a point I made earlier today, unless Terunofuji chooses the path of medical intervention, he risks injuring himself beyond repair and ending his promising career before he reaches his full potential. Having gone kyujo just two days in, and baring an ill-advised return later in the Basho, we can expect to see him drop into the Juryo division come March. We at Tachiai sincerely hope Terunofuji takes the necessary steps to recovery, and that the mighty Kaiju rises again.

As a result of his withdrawal, Daishomaru will get the fusen win on Day 3.

Update: Rather than his ailing lower body as many had guessed, the official reason for Terunofuji going kyujo is health issues caused by diabetes.

22 thoughts on “Terunofuji Withdraws from Hatsu Basho

  1. Sadly, it seems both of us posted this within seconds of each other. You got in first, so I deleted mine. Good work keeping up with the headlines, Chanko! I appreciate it.

    • Thanks for the kind words Bruce! I’ve learned that around 9:30 mountain time seems to be the sweet spot for catching kyujo news. I incorporated a bit of your writing into the post (I hope you don’t mind), plus the news link you added, so I think we did a pretty good job at tag-teaming this one!

      • The Makuuchi torikumi comes out at 10pm EST (11pm EDT, which applies in 4/6 basho). That’s noon in Japan. Any sekitori kyujos are posted at that point. On very rare occasions someone will go kyujo after that and they’ll redo the previously announced torikumi (happened with Mitakeumi) but that’s pretty rare. They don’t release the Day 15 torikumi at the same time as usual, but any kyujos are announced then. I miss a lot of kyujos for Day 14 because I’m more interested in the torikumi and so I don’t even check that day.

  2. This marks the 4th consecutive tournament where he has withdrawn, after scoring two consecutive jun-yusho awards with 13-2 and 12-3 records. With apologies to fans of Terunofuji – this looks like the last we will see of the big guy for some time. He is clearly quite hurt, and will either need to leave sumo or seek medical intervention for his problems.

    As a result of his withdrawal, Daishomaru will get the fusen win on day 3.

    • What makes me quite sad is that he is so young, and I wonder what impact an injury like this will have on his life even if he doesn’t continue with Sumo. 26 is too young to have such crippling lower body problems.

    • It’s the one-two punch of heartache, this 2018. :(

      It feels so hollow to see all our predictions come true about surgical avoidance.

      He’s still my favorite rikishi, even if he has to become a talk show host or bodyguard instead.

  3. I have the sads, but not the surprised sads. :-(

    I hope he has enough brains left to go to a university and get himself a profession that does not require knees. Software development has been good for my knees, at least. :-)

  4. The infuriating thing is that we have saying that Terunofuji can’t go on like this since at least January 2016. If a bunch of keyboard komusubi could see what was wrong and what had to happen why couldn’t the supposed experts (doctors, trainers, officials, stablemasters) see it?

  5. Turns out he did not go kyujo because of his knees, but because of what Isegahama oyakata calls “health issues”. Twitter rumours say he suffers from diabetes.

    Diet. Now!

        • Easy now… Lots of rikishi are diabetic. The big issue usually isn’t to keep competing with it, it’s to figure out which changes to make in order to be able to keep competing with it.

  6. Diabetes is quite a problem for anyone, but frankly I don’t see how a rikishi would manage. One of the methods of managing diabetes is to avoid high glycemic foods such as bread, pasta, … and rice. I know rikishi gorge on rice. For example, Hakuho eats eight large bowls a day I hear tell. The alternative to dietary management is to take a bazillion medications all of which have their own complications.

    Foot and leg injuries are bad for anyone, but particularly problematic for diabetics. Sumo is hard on the feet and legs.

    Diabetics are supposed to keep their weight down. Will his beya accept this?

    I could go on, but you get the idea.

    Not a doctor here, just someone with a lot of type 2 diabetes in the family. Therefore, I won’t say he should give up Sumo but …

    I wish Terunofuji the best.

    • He shouldn’t have to worry about his stable being displeased if he loses weight, they will welcome it as being too heavy has comprimised his health and sumo (Like when Ichinojo ballooned up to almost 500 lb). The real question is how much he will need to lose to get healthy. Chiyotairyu announced he had diabetes back in 2012, and it seems that lowering his weight played a big part in him being able to continue competing, and he’s still pretty big. I’m unsure of what other treatments/lifestyle changes he has made.

    • I don’t think his heya is happy with his current weight.

      The “Yokozuna weight” is 150-160kg depending on the man’s height. Hakuho is at around 160 plus a little which he is trying to get off. Haruma was less, matching his fewer centimeters. Asashoryu was also within that range. It’s a good weight for not being pushed around easily, and maintaining your mobility.

      Terunofuji was around 170kg in his “good days”, which was already a bit on the weighty side. But now I think he is around the 190-200 range. That is certainly not good for those knees, it’s not good for his mobility. Worse – the extra is made of fat, not muscle.

      I think if he loses about 30kg, the diabetes goes, the knees improve, and he may yet be able to do sumo, provided he keeps exercising his muscles. In order to exercise, he needs to put in some energy, though, and he’ll need to eat some carbohydrates. So this may be a problem point, and the other is whether his heya has enough patience to wait for him to reduce that much weight, and whether he himself does. So far he has not shown any patience or self-control.

      • I am really sorry for Terunofuji.He must go on a diet asap,loose at least 30 Kg and control the diabetes with medication if necessary.He should also do a lot of swimming every day and really concentrate on nothing else but getting healthy.I hope he will have the strength to do that. I wish him all the best!

  7. Knackered knees and diabetic conditions might be much reduced in sumo if there was a rule which banned anyone with a BMI of 50 or more from competing until they had shed some weight. No-one needs to be that big.

    • I don’t want to outlaw our buddy Orora. He seems to enjoy his job as the lower wall of Sandanme.

      Also, hopefully Terunofuji will take inspiration from Wilford Brimley and know that diabetes isn’t the end of things.

    • I agree with you idea, except I can’t stand BMI as it doesn’t differentiate between muscle and fat.

      I wouldn’t be opposed to some other method.

      • Muscle, fat, bone density or swollen glands: if you have a BMI of 50+ you are beyond obesity and you are going to get very sick. And your knees are going to be on the brink of collapse everytime you walk upstairs, never mind compete in a full contact combat sport.


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