Complaining of an exacerbation of a chronic knee issue, Ozeki Takakeisho has withdrawn from the tournament on day 12. This came right after achieving his 8th win and avoiding demotion from Ozeki.
Going into the July meet with the threat of demotion looming ever since March, the rotund pusher-thruster wasted little time getting to kachikoshi. His day 11 opponent was Sekiwake Mitakeumi, an early contender in the yusho race. Desperate, Takakeisho defeated Mitakeumi by a sprawling oshidashi. Still in good standing on the leaderboard after day 11, he submitted a doctor’s note to the sumo association with four weeks of rest and rehabilitation recommended for a left MCL tear.
This is the first time Takakeisho has escaped kadoban and retained Ozeki status. This was, however, not the first time Takakeisho was in danger of demotion from Ozeki. His first makekoshi as an Ozeki came directly after his promotion to said rank, and sitting out the following tournament, he was demoted. At Aki Basho last year, Takakeisho was runner up for the title and earned more than what was required for immediate re-promotion to Ozeki for Kyushu.
According to Takakeisho’s stablemaster, Chiganoura-oyakata, “He came to me and said, ‘It hurts to the point I can’t do sumo.’ It had been hurting since day 8, but he was persevering through it. We’re very sorry to the fans, and I think he is also frustrated.” Apparently the initial injury had happened earlier this month before the basho began.
His day 12 opponent Komusubi Daieisho takes his second fusensho for July and moves to 8 and 4. Takakeisho is the fourth top division wrestler to go kyujo this tournament, the others being Yokozuna Kakuryu, Abi, and Kotonowaka. He leaves without having fought Sekiwake Shodai, Ozeki Asanoyama, or Yokozuna Hakuho.
Source: Nikkan Sports