Terunofuji’s first absence as yokozuna: “The situation is not good. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Terunofuji’s first absence as yokozuna: “The situation is not good.

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Terunofuji is pushed down by Tamawashi (right) on the fifth day of the March tournament (Image: Kyodo News)

It was his offer. He’s not the type of boy who would say something like that on his own. He’s wrestling in that (awful) condition. ……

On March 18, Terunofuji, 30, a former yokozuna, submitted a medical report to the Japan Sumo Association stating that he would require medical treatment for about a month due to a bone bruise in his right heel and osteoarthritis in his left knee. He submitted a letter of resignation and took a leave of absence. This is the first absence since he became yokozuna in September of last year. The stablemaster also said, “I am very sorry for his absence.

In his current condition, he cannot wrestle well. My heel and knee are at their limits. …… It is strange that he is taking sumo matches normally with that injury. If he gets worse at this point, he will be in big trouble.

Terunofuji injured his heel in the January tournament this year, and in February he contracted a new type of coronavirus. He entered the current tournament with a lack of adjustment, and by the fifth day, he had already delivered gold stars to Daieisho and Tamawashi. According to Oyakata, he will not undergo surgery but will return to the May tournament through rehabilitation and other measures.

Terunofuji has wounds all over his body. The first time he hurt his knee was in the September 2003 tournament when he was an ozeki. In January 2004, he suffered a fracture of his right collarbone and other serious injuries, and in September 2005 he fell from the rank of ozeki, which he had held for 14 seasons. The pain did not subside, and he underwent surgery on both knees three times. At one point, the pain was so severe that he could not sit on the toilet chair by himself, let alone step on the floor.

In January 2006, it was discovered that he had diabetes. In January 2006, it was discovered that he was suffering from diabetes, and in March 2007, he was demoted to the second rank. He made a miraculous comeback by avoiding alcohol and oily food, which he loved, and by continuing rigorous training and treatment, but he cannot rest easy. The injuries on both knees will never fully heal,” said an official of the Sumo Association.

Despite the doctor’s stop: ……

The man who saw hell when he was demoted from ozeki to shokunin-dan must be putting considerable strain on his body by pushing himself too hard. At the ozeki promotion ceremony last March, he changed his position several times, as if sitting on the floor was too much for him. Even after becoming yokozuna, he has been taping his body several times before stepping into the ring.

I feel that his strong sense of responsibility has become a hindrance. Immediately after he injured his heel in the January tournament, the doctor advised him not to wrestle for three to four weeks. But Terunofuji did participate in the retirement sumo matches of Mukuma Oyakata (former ozeki Goeido) on January 29 and Kiyomigata Oyakata (former sekiwake Tochikozan) the next day.

As his stablemaster pointed out, Terunofuji’s knee must be at its limit. He usually cracks jokes and makes his juniors laugh, but this tournament he was not in high spirits. There was a tense atmosphere in the air. He could not use his knees or heels, so there was no pressure when he stepped forward. I think he should take a good rest until he is ready to wrestle his true colors. ……

Hakkaku Oyakata (former yokozuna Kitakatsumi), president of the Sumo Association of Japan, commented on Terunofuji’s absence, “A yokozuna is in a difficult position where he cannot say he is in pain. I think he was just trying to stay in the ring.

Terunofuji probably has no desire to stay a yokozuna for a long time, taking breaks from competing. Perhaps he looks back on former yokozuna Hakuho, who was absent from the ring for a long time.

However, for Terunofuji, who has wounds all over his body, a strong sense of responsibility is a double-edged sword that could shorten his life as a rikishi. He has told those around him, “I’m not going to let this happen again. He is prepared to quit at any time. He is taking sumo with the thought that today may be his last day.

Terunofuji is the first yokozuna to voluntarily request a leave of absence from the tournament. In the upcoming tournament, he will step into the ring with the determination to make a decision that will determine whether he will advance or retire.

  • Photo Kyodo News

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