Sumo

Takakeisho's ozeki return spoiled by chest injury

Kyodo

Sekiwake Takakeisho’s star-crossed journey to sumo’s second-highest rank continued on Monday, when he was diagnosed with a chest muscle strain, his stablemaster said.

According to stablemaster Chiganoura, Takakeisho suffered a strained left pectoral muscle on Sunday and will require six weeks of treatment. The news comes a day after the 23-year-old won 12 bouts at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament to reclaim his ozeki status, only to lose a championship playoff with fellow sekiwake Mitakeumi.

Asked whether the injury would prevent the youngster from competing in Fukuoka in November’s Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament, Chiganoura said, “I can’t say anything about that yet. The first thing is to see to his treatment.”

The stablemaster indicated that Takakeisho was hurt on the initial charge of Sunday’s championship playoff.

Takakeisho was first promoted to sumo’s second-highest rank of ozeki ahead of May’s grand tournament, but withdrew from that tournament due to a right knee injury. The same injury prevented him from competing in July. Failing to win eight bouts in two consecutive tournaments means automatic demotion to sekiwake, the rank Takakeisho assumed at this month’s tourney.

He came back strong, however. Demoted ozeki can automatically regain their former status if they win 10 bouts in the tournament after their demotion, and Takakeisho achieved that on the 12th day at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

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