Here is an update to the earlier news we published about a new outbreak of COVID-19 in Grand Sumo.
Following the completion of all test and results, the NSK announced that 18 new rikishi have been found positive for COVID-19, all belonging to Tamanoi beya.
This includes one of the heya’s sekitori – Fujiazuma (J14E).
In total, counting the first rikishi who was diagnosed on September 5th, this makes 19 rikishi out of the heya’s 28.
13 of the rikishi have already been hospitalized, and have mild symptoms. The others are asymptomatic, and are currently isolated at the heya, awaiting admission to a proper facility.
However, the basho will go ahead as planned – excepting the Tamanoi rikishi and oyakata, who will all be absent.
Unless the NSK makes a special dispensation for these rikishi (which I consider unlikely), this means the two sekitori will go 0-0-15, the lower ranked rikishi will go 0-0-7, and they will all suffer the usual consequences to their rank. The ones to be most affected are:
- The two sekitori, Azumaryu and Fujiazuma, who will lose their sekitori status.
- Shiraishi, currently Ms2W, will drop out of the promotion range.
Luckily, the heya does not have any Jonokuchi wrestlers, so nobody will be going off-banzuke.
The heya also includes a gyoji, yobidashi, two tokoyama and a sewanin. However, they do not live at the heya, and have not been at the heya at all in the applicable time slot. The NSK consulted with its infection expert, and he said that in such a case, there is no reason to keep them away from the basho.
Tachiai wishes all rikishi involved a speedy and complete recovery, and hopes that no new cases should arise.