Yokozuna Hakuho went back into surgery during the March basho in an attempt to repair damage to his right knee. Prior to the tournament, he required fluid to be drained daily just to regain movement in that leg. His doctors have suggested knee replacement surgery – soon! He is already committed to being absent in May, with July his targeted “last stand”
Andy, Josh and Bruce talk about what could be the last stand for the most dominant rikishi ever in the world of sumo, and wonder if July is really going to be possible given the severity of his injuries. It’s another 15 minutes of video by Team Tachiai!
Andy, Josh and Bruce discuss Yokozuna Hakuho’s latest knee surgery, and look into how he has forever changed sumo. What does the future hold for him? Will he be able to return ready to fight in July? Can he keep his body together long enough to be a part of the delayed Tokyo Olympic Games?
Its another 15 minute block of Team Tachiai talking through the scenarios around what could be the final basho of the most dominant rikishi ever to mount the dohyo. Video version on YouTube to follow soon.
Herouth called this. Hakuho is kyujo, according to the NHK. I must be blind because even after she wrote this, I went back and rewatched it and didn’t think anything was that bad. He clearly was not prime Hakuho but who would expect “prime” Hakuho at this point in his career, with 6 months off AND having only just recovered from Covid? (Yes, the only apparent symptom was the loss of taste but we’re still early understanding the longterm effects.) Onosho will benefit from the walkover win.
This leads me to seriously doubt that we will see either Yokozuna complete a full fortnight of action, whether we’re talking about May, July, September, November. All of these young-guns are eager for their shot and does anyone seriously think either of these men will be happy with a 10-5 record, out of contention during the final weekend?
Hakuho's tachiai was a mistake. Doing that feint harite allowed Takarafuji to slip in his left easily. Then Hakuho had a problem to solve. And that knee, I'm sure, didn't like the time it took to solve it.
With less than 2 days to go before the start of the Haru basho, we now know that Yokozuna Hakuho will compete in Haru, and that Yokozuna Kakuryu, will not. According to reports, Kakuryu, who had shown well at the Kyokai joint practice, injured his left thigh in practice a few days ago. He is currently unable to do shiko, and sadly will be unable to compete for March.
The Yokozuna were given an ultimatum last year – compete or retire. Both sat out January, and both were expected to compete in March. There is, of course, talk that Kakuryu will be directed to retire. While this would be a shame, he now has Japanese citizenship, and will likely become a sumo elder following his retirement. While there is no official word if Kakuryu holds a kabu, it is supsected that he holds the Izutsu kabu, and will take it up once he is intai. While we hope the YDC and the sumo association will allow him to fight it out, at least one last time, I personally do not hold much hope for that outcome.
Meanwhile, I am eager to see Hakuho return to the dohyo. If he competes for all 15 days, and is healthy, he has to be the likely favorite to take home the yusho. While it is likely Hakuho will stave off a directive to retire, it has been announced that he will acquire the Magaki kabu, and will become a sumo elder when that day comes.