Haru 2020 Day Eight Recap
There is big news for Day Eight, as Chiyomaru has officially gone Kyujo because of a high fever. One of the measures instituted before the basho was that each rikishi, in every single division, would get a temperature check every day. (They were actually scanning everyone with an infrared thermometer on entrance to the building.) If any rikishi had a temperature above a certain level, they would automatically be kyujo, no questions asked.
Chiyomaru appears to be the first to have this happen, although admittedly lower-level kyujos are not announced with as much explanation. This does not mean he has COVID-19, or even necessarily the flu. People can just get high temperatures occasionally, and this is the first basho where that's being checked. Yet in the midst of a global pandemic, the working assumption probably needs to be he could have the novel coronavirus. He must be tested.
And if the test comes back positive, the entire basho is getting shut down. Sumo has been a nice way to think about something other than the spread of COVID-19. Yet sumo wrestlers and officials, being human beings, can get and spread the virus. That's how it works. I'd rather have sumo continue, but I'd also rather the Japan Sumo Association take the precaution to avoid worsening the disease's impact.
Coming back to the basho, this was always under the threat of being finished prematurely, with little warning. Presumably, the leader at the moment of the stoppage is the yusho winner. (Who knows what would happen if there's a tie at the top of the leaderboard.) These recaps will now display where the yusho race stands each day, rather than focus on individual matches.
The leader is Hakuho, who remains undefeated. The two rikishi one back are lower on the banzuke, Takanosho and Aoiyama. Among the 6 win group, Kakuryu, Asanoyama, and Mitakeumi are all in position to make noise. Mitakeumi did lose to both Yokozuna, but he's also faced the top five ranked rikishi and should have an easier week two schedule.