Sumo’s return to action has not been without its issues. Now, one of the top wrestlers in the world will no longer be participating in its recent event.
According to Kyodo News, Yokozuna Hakuho, one of the leading men in July’s Grand Sumo Tournament, is out of the tournament. He withdrew after suffering a right knee injury. A pre-existing injury, Hakuho has been managing to subdue the pain following the fourth day of action. The Mongolian-born Hakuho felt like he could not go on after suffering his second loss of the tournament, losing to Mitakeumi via thrust down.
Reports are saying he will be out for two weeks after suffering cartilage and ligament damage.
“He needed medical treatment to get this far. His knee injury worsened when he fell (during the bout against Mitakeumi),” stablemaster Miyagino told Kyodo News.
“It’s too bad because Hakuho said he was in good condition. We were gunning for championship in this basho.”
The 35-year-old Hakuho is coming off of a win in the March Grand Sumo Tournament. With 45 Emperor Cup wins, Hakuho had an early lead as the July tournament started. Shodai, his Friday opponent, won the bout via forfeit. How Hakuho’s next few bouts will be determined is up in the air.
“All I’m focusing on now is how to deal with my new injury and my body and get treated in order to return to the dohyo as soon as possible,” Hakuho stated.
Hakuho joins another yokozuna, Kakuryu, as a Mongolian wrestler that had to back out of the tournament. Kakuryuhad to drop out after day two.
Competition continued, with Terunofuji currently in the lead. He beat newly-promoted Asanoyama (11-2), flinging him from the raised ring. Terunofuji will now face Shodai (10-3) this weekend.
July’s Grand Sumo Tournament, which was delayed due to the virus, returned on July 19 from inside Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikannow. The tournament will last until August 2.