In a surprise to just about no one, Shodai has withdrawn from the
Kyushu November tournament. Unfortunately, the newly minted Ozeki’s ankle injury, sustained in his Day 3 victory, was too serious to overcome for yesterday’s match. Unless he makes a miraculously rapid recovery and picks up five more wins by the end of next week, he will join Asanoyama kadoban at Hatsu. This leaves Takakeisho as the lone Ozeki remaining in the tournament.
With the prospect of two Yokozuna fighting for their careers, and two Ozeki fighting for their ranks, Hatsu is looking more and more like the Thunder-Dome scenario Bruce has written about previously. Although, Takakeisho has been in this situation before. As a newly minted Ozeki, he was injured, kyujo and kadoban but rather than come back immediately in the next tournament, he waited an extra tournament. This meant he dropped to Sekiwake but reinstalled as Ozeki after securing 10 wins. I am highly doubtful either Ozeki will adopt that strategy but it seems to have worked for Takakeisho.
We at Tachiai wish him a full recovery.