Yokozuna Decision Day

unryu-tsuna

It’s nearly dawn on Thursday in Osaka, and later this morning the day 1 torikumi (fight card) will be drawn up. The deadline for the Yokozuna to decide if they are going to start the Haru basho is today, which allows the scheduling team to draw up a proper roster for the opening days of the tournament. Tachiai is expecting at least one Yokozuna to not start Haru, and for none of the Yokozuna to be competing by day 10.

Some reasons why:

Hakuho – Damage to both big toes caused him to withdraw from Hatsu. He has struggled to train, but has recently started test matches against rikishi in his own stable. At Hakuho’s age, significant re-injury to his right big toe could possibly end his career.

Kakuryu – Probably in the best condition of the three Yokozuna, his ankle is probably well enough to begin competition, but injury to his right hand on the final day of Hatsu is still causing him problems with establishing and maintaining a mawashi grip.

Kisenosato – His un-repaired left pectoral muscle injury may have no way to heal to full capacity.  During the past year, Kisenosato has put himself on light duty in hopes of “Healing Naturally”.  As a result, he has become de-conditioned, and no longer has the strength, balance or ring sense required to compete at Yokozuna levels.

13 thoughts on “Yokozuna Decision Day

  1. Why, why, why won’t Kisenosato get surgery for his issue? (If he even still can…) I think he could still have a decent (if not history-making) career if he would just take care of himself…

  2. There should a way to differentiate between a gold star achieved in the defeating of a healthy Yokozuna as opposed to besting wounded or badly injured Yokozuna but I guess that’s not done for a variety of reasons. Still though, huge difference in the those two kinds of wins, dontcha think?

    • They aren’t differentiated in the bonus pay the kinboshi earners get. An injured Yokozuna should rest instead of fight since they can’t be demoted, but it’s hard to know when an injury is merely annoying vs. actually holding you back.

    • The historically highest kinboshi giver was Tochinoumi (http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Rikishi.aspx?r=3989) at 37.5% (at least, assuming that Harumafuji didn’t pass that at the end of his career; he was around 20% when I compiled my numbers a few years ago).

      Kisenosato is by my count 19-12 against maegashira on the dohyo as a Yokozuna, which is gives a 38.7% kinboshi concession rate, slightly higher than Tochinoumi’s.

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