Kintamayama

Corona and sumo

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TOKYO — The Japanese capital, Tokyo, and three nearby prefectures have asked the national government to declare a state of emergency to curtail the surging spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

“In the name of valuing life, we made this plea together,” said Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike after meeting for three hours on Saturday with the minister in charge of coronavirus measures, along with the governors of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa.

Japan has seen a recent rise in reported cases of COVID-19, especially in urban areas. Tokyo saw a daily record of 1,337 cases on New Year’s Eve.

Worries are growing about hosting the Olympics, set for July, with 11,000 Olympic athletes set to enter Japan, as well as tens of thousands of officials and media.

“Corona knows no calendar,” said Koike, referring to her worries about infection growing during the New Year’s holidays.

“Hospitals are getting packed, affecting medical care for all.”

The minister said both sides agreed the situation was critical, but medical experts will be consulted before action is decided.

Japan has never had a lockdown, attempting to juggle the need to keep the economy going with health risks. The issued warnings carry no penalties.

The government has also been sending conflicting messages with a campaign to encourage travel with discounts, although that has been discontinued.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has come under criticism over what some see as his mishandling of the pandemic. Japan has had more than 3,500 deaths so far related to the coronavirus.

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2 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

Suga about to declare the state of emergency for Tokyo, which would suggest no spectators for the upcoming basho if it goes ahead. 

It looks that way now.  I just hope the sumo goes the full 15 days without an incident.  

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Makuuchi gyoji Kimura Motoki (Minato-beya) has the virus, it was announced today. He did not have any close interaction with other members of the heya but all heya members will undergo tests tomorrow.  This is the first Gyoji to come down with the virus.

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I wonder what's going to happen. I'm sure the Kyokai would agree that it's better for a basho to be canceled than for it to go ahead and be a disaster because of infected wrestlers or gyoji appearing on the dohyo. If nothing else happens over the next week I think we're good, but we're really treading the line.

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1 hour ago, Kamitsuumi said:

According to Shibatayama, basho goes on as planned. With audience and no postponement.

Stipulation-depending on emergency measures being instated nationwide.

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I don't think there will be a normal basho in January if at all.   Bummer.

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I think Hakuho coming down with Covid will probably be enough for the NSK to hold an emergency board meeting. Last I saw Shibatayama did say that they would be going forward and no plans to hold a board meeting, but this is more than enough to force their hand to do something. If not, we won't hear the end of it from Chris Gould and Takatoriki.

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14 minutes ago, WAKATAKE said:

I think Hakuho coming down with Covid will probably be enough for the NSK to hold an emergency board meeting. Last I saw Shibatayama did say that they would be going forward and no plans to hold a board meeting, but this is more than enough to force their hand to do something. If not, we won't hear the end of it from Chris Gould and Takatoriki.

I don't think the NSK gives two hoots about what Chris and Takatoriki say (do they even know who the former is?), but I agree that a kanban rikishi coming down with COVID has got to force a response somehow. But the worrying thing isn't just Hakuho being infected; it's the possibility of asymptomatic infections amongst rikishi given the current climate. If Hakuho, who presumably has been quite careful, can be infected, anyone can be.

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Posted (edited)

But doesn't the sumo association hate Mongolians and yearn for another Japanese yokozuna? Calling the basho off because Hak is positive? Not a chance! It's more likely they sent an operative to infect Hak, so they could then hold the basho without him and get Takakeisho another yusho, or at least set up Asanoyama or Shodai for promotion next tournament. Plus this might put all of Miyagino on the sidelines, meaning Hokuseiho (Hokkaido my butt), will miss his chance for juryo promotion in January.

At least that's trying to keep conspiracies consistent... 

Edited by Katooshu
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2 minutes ago, Katooshu said:

But doesn't the sumo association hate Mongolians and yearn for another Japanese yokozuna? Calling the basho off because Hak is positive? Not a chance! It's more likely they sent an operative to infect Hak, so they could then hold the basho without him.

At least that's trying to keep conspiracies consistent... 

(My best Yoda voice): "Strong with this one the sarcasm is!"

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1 hour ago, Seiyashi said:

I don't think the NSK gives two hoots about what Chris and Takatoriki say (do they even know who the former is?), but I agree that a kanban rikishi coming down with COVID has got to force a response somehow. But the worrying thing isn't just Hakuho being infected; it's the possibility of asymptomatic infections amongst rikishi given the current climate. If Hakuho, who presumably has been quite careful, can be infected, anyone can be.

I know they don't really care what they say, although Chris really criticized the NSK when it came to not acknowledging Shobushi's death enough. I also feel like he thinks he knows better than the NSK on a lot of what they do. Regardless of what happens, he's going to come out swinging and try to appeal to his fringe fans.

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Basho to go ahead and Hakuho to be recommended for retirement for going kyujo again. You heard it here first.

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It is becoming increasingly likely that the basho may get canceled.  If not, it will start without the crowd and likely be canceled in mid-stream when someone tests positive.   

In an alternative universe, the basho ends without an incident with the 5000/day crowd allowed.     

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16 minutes ago, robnplunder said:

It is becoming increasingly likely that the basho may get canceled.

And I'm starting to hope for it. With the GOAT out, Kakuryu phantomic, two Ozeki struggling with injuries, and more incumbents likely to be tested positive, it's bound to be a miss anyway.

(...or maybe I'm just fed up with everything right now...)

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24 minutes ago, robnplunder said:

It is becoming increasingly likely that the basho may get canceled.  If not, it will start without the crowd and likely be canceled in mid-stream when someone tests positive.   

A mid-basho cancellation while a tsuna run is ongoing would be especially catastrophic. Of course, Takakeisho could pull a Goeido and invalidate his run all on his own. But if he goes swimmingly and the basho is cancelled, what on earth are they going to do then? "Sorry Ozeki, but you're going to have start over again."? 

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Just now, pricklypomegranate said:
29 minutes ago, robnplunder said:

It is becoming increasingly likely that the basho may get canceled.  If not, it will start without the crowd and likely be canceled in mid-stream when someone tests positive.   

A mid-basho cancellation while a tsuna run is ongoing would be especially catastrophic. Of course, Takakeisho could pull a Goeido and invalidate his run all on his own. But if he goes swimmingly and the basho is cancelled, what on earth are they going to do then? "Sorry Ozeki, but you're going to have start over again."? 

Yeah, this will be a headscratcher, but realistically they'd probably invalidate the basho results as if it hadn't happened as it'd be fairest to everyone. The shimpanbu has been quite enlightened in dealing with the Tamanoi situation, so that portends well for the banzuke at least; I can't say the same for the rest of the sumo world.

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9 minutes ago, pricklypomegranate said:

A mid-basho cancellation while a tsuna run is ongoing would be especially catastrophic. Of course, Takakeisho could pull a Goeido and invalidate his run all on his own. But if he goes swimmingly and the basho is cancelled, what on earth are they going to do then? "Sorry Ozeki, but you're going to have start over again."? 

A typical Ozeki schedule puts the hard matches at the end of the basho. A tsuna-contending Ozeki absolutely should be taking care of business against the joi for the first half of the basho, and should be involved in the yusho arasoi most of the time until the really hard matches get going. Expecting TK to beat up M1 through M5 again, and be in the yusho conversation, for yet another basho, is a reasonable ask.

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Posted (edited)

The real question is going to be what were the circumstances surrounding Hakuho's positive test. I wish him a speedy recovery, but if it were to come to light that he broke protocol and in so doing put the Hatsu basho, not to mention the health of the other rikishi, in jeopardy, I'd expect demand for his retirement to be imminent. 

 

Edited by Kaninoyama

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44 minutes ago, Kaninoyama said:

The real question is going to be what were the circumstances surrounding Hakuho's positive test. I wish him a speedy recovery, but if it were to come to light that he broke protocol and in so doing put the Hatsu basho, not to mention the health of the other rikishi, in jeopardy, I'd expect demand for his retirement to be imminent. 

 

I reckon they used a swab. Probably while wearing a mask and gloves.

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I take it sumo wrestlers aren't bubbled away like some other sports? Kept in one place and isolated, no outside contacts at all? If so, I'd like to know why. Because whatever the reasoning for 'well we can't bubble them because...' I'm not sure is going to hold up when the end result is your top yokozuna getting the virus and the basho possibly cancelled along with him. 

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