Connect with us


With Some Top Sumo Wrestlers Sidelined, the Summer Basho Title is Up for Grabs

Rising sumo star Takerufuji was forced to pull out of the 15-day Summer Basho in Tokyo with an ankle injury, and komusubi Asanoyama is also sidelined.



Onosato (left) trains in Ami, Ibaraki Prefecture, on May 5, 2024, for the Summer Basho. (KYODO)

Read the full story on SportsLook - With Some Top Sumo Wrestlers Sidelined, the Summer Basho Title is Up for Grabs

With injury concerns hampering some of the favorites, the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament, which kicks off on Sunday, May 12 at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan, should be wide open.

To the disappointment of many, rising star Takerufuji was forced to pull out of the tournament on Thursday. On the same day, komusubi and former ozeki Asanoyama also announced he can't take part due to injury.

Takerufuji overcame the odds and an injury to win the Spring Basho in March. He became the first wrestler since Ryogoku in 1914 to win a championship in his top division debut with a stellar 13-2 record.

What made the win for the native of Aomori Prefecture all the more impressive was the fact that he suffered a severe ankle injury in his loss on the penultimate day.

After he was taken to the hospital, many felt he wouldn't be able to compete. But the 25-year-old brushed aside the injury concerns to defeat fellow rank-and-filer Gonoyama in the final to take the historic title.

Spring Basho
Takerufuji receives the Emperor's Cup from Japan Sumo Association chairman Hakkaku after winning the Spring Basho on March 24 in Osaka. (KYODO)

For his efforts, Takerufuji has risen all the way up to a maegashira No 6 rank from his previous position of 17, the lowest in the elite division. 


But unfortunately, recovery from the ankle injury hasn't gone as well as hoped, forcing him to sit out at least part of the 15-day basho.

"It still hasn't healed, he can't compete in this condition," his stablemaster, former yokozuna Asahifuji, said, according to Kyodo News.

Yokozuna Terunofuji (right) trains with Hakuoho at Isegahama stable in Tokyo's Koto Ward on May 9. (Representative photo/via SANKEI)

Can Terunofuji Win Another Sumo Tournament Title?

Another grappler dealing with injury issues is grand champion Terunofuji.

The yokozuna pulled out of the previous meet with an injury and ended up with a record of two wins, five losses and eight absences.

Terunofuji, a Mongolian grappler, is currently on nine championship titles and has said he wants to win 10 but the problem is he is running out of chances.

Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.


Author: Jim Armstrong

The author is a longtime journalist who has covered sports in Japan for over 25 years. You can find his articles on SportsLook.