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omoimori

Health of the Yokozuna

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I know this has been discussed in other threads, but perhaps it deserves its own.

In both the January and March Basho, Hakuho's dohyo-iri looked weak. Particularly because he was bracing his left hand against his leg.

I haven't seen any this basho. Has anyone else noticed a problem with it? (Indeed, after seeing his dohyo-iri in January,

I wondered whether his Unryu performance at the temple over the winter was an attempt to hide an injury.)

In January they mentioned that he injured a toe on his left foot, but from the beginning of the tourney he was already bracing himself during the dohyo-iri. In looking at his most recent bouts, he really doesn't seem sound. I think maybe he needs to take a basho off to heal up now that there are six strong Ozeki.

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I am wondering whether he suffered a cracked bone in his left foot. These are usually painful, slow to heal and easily aggravated. FWIW, the press is also speculating that he now has an injured left hand. Agree, his pre-bout motions are a bit strange. His tactics during the bouts also have been unusual and a bit tentative during the last couple bashos.

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Now I'm reading of a left hand index finger sprain he suffered during his day 1 loss against Aminishiki. He was checked and was told he needs to rest one to two weeks for it to heal. "Well, you know.." he remarked.

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Clearly, he didn't go for the Mawashi in the last two bouts. He must be hurt badly. That is a new injury. He seems to be very close to withdrawing.

Left foot injury seems to be a long-lasting issue. It has hampered him quite a while. It is then great that he can still win so many bouts. But what is so strange then is that he participates in all the non-honbasho events and so many open keiko session against strong opponents. From the perspective of his career he should allow it to heal. In the shape he is in he could very well do no keiko at all one month and still be fit to win the next basho.

The theory with the fractured bone does not seem so likely to me. Then, I guess, noone would seriously refrain him from sitting out til it's properly healed. I rather guess that the diagnosis may be not so clear, may be in the tendons or bursas, maybe an inflammation which pops up only in the intense honbasho preparation.

I have to admit that I'm thinking in the terms of other sports. It's Japan and the Yokozuna may have responsibilities which does not make a lot of sense to me, like appearing injured at the lower-grade annual tournament.

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Now I'm reading of a left hand index finger sprain he suffered during his day 1 loss against Aminishiki. He was checked and was told he needs to rest one to two weeks for it to heal. "Well, you know.." he remarked.

and what else is new? when you are right at the top in a big game, you don't bleat out every little thing to the awaiting multitudes, do you? Especially in Japanese culture, you turn up day by day and give it all you've got. And that, IMHO, is what is happening here.

Orion

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In days 2 and 3 he did not grip with the left hand. Since day 4 he consistently refuses to grab the Mawashi with the right hand. Day 4, a dirty pull, almost hair pull. In day 5/6 he made a throw with the left hand on Mawashi. From day 7 no belt fight at all.

Put that together with the ankle injury reported earlier: He's navigating around his injuries - and creates an style which doesn't really work - it's a disgrace.

Reminds me of old Kaio, also a brilliant navigator around huge handicaps ...

He refuses to go Kyujo, brave ... I just hope that his injuries doesn't go worse, that he doesn't get any new, and recovers fully for the next tournament.

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Hakuho has never gone kyujo as yokozuna.

No yokozuna has ever taken 9 or more defeats, incl. fusensho. Records were 8 defeats from Chiyonofuji (incl. fusensho, 5:8:2), Onokuni and Wakanosato (all fought).

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In a rare occurrence Miyagino oyakata himself has publicly acknowledged that Hakuhou has fractured a bone in his index finger of the left hand. "He injured it during his day one loss against Aminishiki.The next day it was very swollen. He is losing but the content of his sumo is not bad so upon discussion with him we decided to carry on," said the Oyakata. Asked what would happen on day 11 he answered: "We will have to see how it goes on day 10..".

So maybe a kyujo possibility after all?

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Hakuho has never gone kyujo as yokozuna.

No yokozuna has ever taken 9 or more defeats, incl. fusensho. Records were 8 defeats from Chiyonofuji (incl. fusensho, 5:8:2), Onokuni and Wakanosato (all fought).

Do you mean Wakanohana?

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Sorry - Wakanohana!

And the 5:8:2 was Chiyonoyama, too. 1957.09. 4 losses straight, days 9...12.

Edited by Jaak

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it's a disgrace.

Newsflash: Continuing the fight even though you're in pain with debilitating injuries and victory is no longer assured is now a "disgrace". Film at 11.

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Newsflash: Continuing the fight even though you're in pain with debilitating injuries and victory is no longer assured is now a "disgrace". Film at 11.

Ditto. My general impression is that most of his losses this tournament could have easily gone the other way. The Toyohibiki bout and the Toyonoshima bouts were both extremely close and he's gotten two mono-ii's as well (which is another thing we rarely see from a Yokozuna bout). We've been spoiled by a near-unbeatable Yokozuna for so many years its tainted our perspective IMHO. Hakuho at his worst is still no easy opponent to say the least.

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Yeah well, Hakuho is clearly so injured, it even hurts me in front of the screen...

(Sigh...)

The expression "not at 100%" is just inconceivable to you, isn't it?

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Okay, okay, I take back the "disgrace".

But still, he doesn't use his fingers, very likely he can't and that is a big handicap not to be able to grab the Mawashi.

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No, it is. It's cool. It's the expression "fracture" that seems to be inconceivable to me.

Are you expecting a fractured finger to render him wheelchair-bound?

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Besides, I'm sure every single rikishi has done keiko while hurting in some place, so they know how much is possible to do - it's the "doing it successfully" part that's the issue during actual competition.

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Hey, cut it out. If he wants to quit, he can quit. As long as he steps on that ring he is stating " I am willing to compete without excuses and this performance is representative who I am and what I have to offer"

He can quit anytime, but if he chooses to fight, well then stop making excuses to his losses.

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Hey, cut it out. If he wants to quit, he can quit. As long as he steps on that ring he is stating " I am willing to compete without excuses and this performance is representative who I am and what I have to offer"

He can quit anytime, but if he chooses to fight, well then stop making excuses to his losses.

I think you've missed the undercurrent of the recent posts - YBF's opinion is that Hakuho's victories 'prove' that his losses are likely to be staged.

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Prove? Let's say they add to the plaintiff's file.

Anyhow, my initial post was the forum user equivalent of an emotional outbreak, so I will leave it at that, 'lright?

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Yeah well, Hakuho is clearly so injured, it even hurts me in front of the screen...

(Sigh...)

sit close to the dohyo and look at him during the 'iri'. This is what makes the difference between a good yokozuna and a great yokozuna.

And the foot problem has been an open secret since Day 1 - many at the Kokugikan talking about it.

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I have always wondered how watching a video of a sport you have never practiced makes you qualified to judge whether a bout is staged or not...

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Who can explain the lack of any resistance from Kakuryu on Day 10? He just walked backwards out of the dohyo. Are you kidding me? I won't be surprised the same scenario today (hopefully not!). So I think, hurting or not, Hakuho will get his KK.

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