Takayasu Severely Injured on Day 4

West Yokozuna Kakuryu faced West Maegashira 1 Takayasu in the final bout of day 4 of the Spring tournament. During the match, Kakuryu was not able to attack with his desired inside belt grip, but after a patient grip fight the Yokozuna gave up the belt and deflected Takayasu to the side for a tsukiotoshi win at the edge of the dohyo. Kakuryu moved to 3-1.

Unfortunately in the final exchange, Takayasu (now 0-4) was caught in a dangerous position with his weight entirely on his left leg while being folded forward by Kakuryu’s thrust-down technique. The resulting strain of his hamstring left the former Ozeki lying prone and immobile on the clay. With no audience to absorb the sound of Takayasu’s painful cries, the severity of the injury was immediately apparent.

Kakuryu left the scene, spirit clearly dampened despite this being his first consecutive win of the tournament. Takayasu was unable to put weight on his left leg as he was helped into a wheelchair, and shortly after into an ambulance.

According to Takayasu’s stablemaster, Tagonoura-oyakata, “It’s a muscle tear (in the left leg). We’ll have to wait and see how bad it is.” He will likely be absent from day 5, in which case his scheduled opponent Asanoyama will receive a freebie win, moving the Sekiwake to 5-0.

[Follow up: Takayasu has indeed gone kyujo, and Asanoyama received the fusensho on day 5. Takayasu will be undergoing treatment for several weeks.]

Chiyotairyu’s (M11) left leg was also injured earlier in the day in his match against Ishiura (M12). After a hard shove from Ishiura, Chiyotairyu fell off the dohyo and landed on his back with a clearly audible thud. Although seemingly less severe than Takayasu’s situation, he too was unable to put weight on his left leg and was taken away by wheelchair. If he does not show up tomorrow, the default win will go to so far undefeated Takanosho (M9).

[Follow up: Chiyotairyu has continued to fight, defeating Takanosho by hatakikomi on day 5. Instead of Chiyotairyu, we saw Tsurugisho withdraw on day 5. Tsurugisho has been suffering from hip pain and could be seen with sports tape wrapped around his hips during the first days of the tournament.]

Sources: https://www.nikkansports.com/battle/sumo/news/202003110000822.html https://www.nikkansports.com/battle/sumo/news/202003110000768.html https://www.sanspo.com/sports/news/20200311/sum20031122190014-n1.html

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