Ozeki Takayasu Withdraws From Nagoya Basho

The Japanese sports media (such as NikkanSports.com) is reporting that injured Ozeki Takayasu has decided to withdraw from the tournament. Takayasu injured his left arm in his day 8 match against Tamawashi, when the Mongolian Sekiwake employed an arm-lock hold that has claimed more than one injury.

Takayasu scored his 8th win to reach kachi-koshi on day 10 against Meisei, and if needed can skip the Aki Basho to devote almost 4 months to recovery, should surgery be needed, without risking his Ozeki rank.

As a result, Yokozuna Hakuho gets a default win, and remains 1 loss behind tournament leader, Yokozuna Kakuryu.

19 thoughts on “Ozeki Takayasu Withdraws From Nagoya Basho

  1. My gut feeling was that he would bail after his 8th win. I’m glad he’s doing it, though. I would hate to see how badly he could be injured after a fight with Hakuho…

  2. And to think I just made an earlier comment to the effect that perhaps Takayasu was pressured to remain in.

    Here, for your entertainment, is yet another thought about why Takayasu didn’t drop out right away.

    What if he and Hakuho were playing chicken? After all, the guy who blinks last gets the fusensho win, and in Sumo, a win is a win!

    And Takayasu blinked first. Just saying!

    I’m glad Takayasu was not forced to stay in the tournament. Here’s wishing Takayasu a full recovery!

    • I’d argue Hakuho is both less injured and has more at stake—it would be truly delusional of Takayasu to expect to contend for the yusho with one arm from two wins behind a genki Yokozuna, and other than that, he has nothing to fight for.

      • Very sad for Takayasu as it really did seem to be a great situation for him, what with the other 3 Ozeki being out and Hakuho injured. When he is fit again, the constellations may never align so well.

    • Kaisei was 1-9 and so was already unquestionably destined for Juryo. Going kyujo didn’t change that fact. Takayasu at 8-2 is already kachikoshi so he should look after his health. But he was looking good and I enjoy his sumo. Bummer he’s no longer in the chase!

      • I’d agree with you, except for the fact that the last three M15s with 6-9 records all stayed in the top division, including Terutsuyoshi last basho and Ishiura the one before that, so Kaisei wasn’t mathematically out. Prior to this recent run, 6 wins at M15 guaranteed demotion, but apparently the most recent banzuke committee has operated with a different set of rules.

  3. This is both sad and a relief. Last night’s bout was agonizing to watch and I genuinely felt sorry for meisei having to navigate that situation… and to essentially have to make the choice he did, which was to try focusing on the left arm.

  4. This is not the first time Takayasu has fought injured to secure his rank and then gone kyujo. The last time was Kyushu 2017 when he was still hampered by his thigh injury. He was kadoban that basho though; he ground out eight wins, lost to Hokutofuji on Day 12, and pulled out, 8-4-3. The fusen went to Goeido and gave him kachi-koshi (but his record was 9-6 so he had eight legit wins that tournament).

  5. The Dai Yokuzuna getting a freebie? When was the last time this happens?

    Assuming tha both Kakuryu and Hakuko wins all his remaining bouts including the one against Kakuryu, that means we might have a playoff on the last day!

    If a half-fit Hakuko managed the improbable, I’m wondering if this Fusen win over Takayasu would diminish his 43rd yusho.

    • I am finding the seemingly endless negativity towards Hakuho tiresome.

      Should he manage to win this tournament it would be a testament to his competitive spirit and will to continue despite being unable to fight in his preferred style, which is obviously seriously limiting his options.

      The same question could be asked about whoever wins this basho, is it worth as much when a significant number of higher ranked rikishi are injured or absent. In fact the same question could probably be asked about every win during the last year as age and injuries have consistently depleted the field. Should Asanayama be proud of his win, which included the questionable decision against an injured Tochinoshin?…..

      For me the real issue in recent tournaments is that a significant number of the younger rikishi are failing to show any real improvement against an ageing and injured competition.

    • with 42 yusho there sure have been a few that were favored by external circumstances. If anything diminishes Hakuhos number of Yushos it’s the fact that with Asashoryu his only real competition for a few years got forced out of sumo, while still at least close to his peak, definitely making his road easier. But at the end of the day any other Yokozuna benefited from their opponents mischief to some point. And Hakuho was clearly gaining the edge on Asashoryu anyways.
      Do you think if people talk about Hakeem Olajuwon, there is an asterix to his two NBA championships, because Michael Jordan decided to skip those 2 years for baseball? It’s not … they beat the competition that was there …
      There might be some salty people remembering a fusen or some misjudgment, but history remembers the achievement.

      • Agreed. You face the competition that’s there. Even if the Russians boycott the Olympics, the medal still counts.

  6. I don’t think Hakuho is injured enough to also pull out, but if he did then what? Had that ever even happened before?

    • Just Some Dude, as I write this, there are four bouts remaining. Anyone with seven wins can catch up to Kakyru if he loses out. Anyone with eight wins can catch up if he loses but one match. And so on. If someone ties, we’ll have a playoff.

      And yes, both Kakyru and Hakuho have pulled out of tournaments due to injury.

  7. Still puzzling over the schedule decision. Assuming they were thinking, “Let’s not waste the chance to schedule Takayasu for a Sanyaku bout.’ That left; Hakuho, Kakuryu, or Mitakeumi. Giving the fusen to the leader would be deplorable. I wonder why they didn’t go to Mitakeumi. Maybe trying to ensure Hakuho stays close for an exciting finish.

    For Day’s 13, 14 and 15, there are four potential sanyaku matches available. Kakuryu has the Yokozuna and both Sekiwake available. Tamawashi and Abi is also remains. That’s it – one surplus.

    If Hakuho drops, we are at quota. If he stays in, Hakuho gets Maegashira on Days 13 and 14.

    There is a reasonable chance we end up at Day 15 with the Yusho still in play.

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