Ozeki Takakeisho muscled his way into a share of the lead at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament by defeating sole overnight leader Atamifuji on Friday.
Having entered the 15-day tournament as a demotion-threatened "kadoban" ozeki, Takakeisho inched closer to his fourth Emperor's Cup by forcing out upstart No. 15 maegashira Atamifuji on Day 13.
The 21-year-old Atamifuji had started the previous day with a two-win buffer, but after consecutive losses he now sits alongside Takakeisho at 10-3.
No. 7 Takayasu (9-4) earlier failed to grab a slice of the lead by losing to No. 1 Hokutofuji (8-5).
Atamifuji matched Takakeisho's powerful opening charge but was unable to hold his ground as the ozeki kept attacking from a low angle. After knocking the youngster off balance, Takakeisho lifted him out for his first back-to-back losses of the tournament.
Kirishima (8-5) shed his kadoban status by overcoming fellow ozeki Hoshoryu, who must win his two remaining bouts to reach the crucial eight-win threshold.
New ozeki Hoshoryu (6-7) managed to avoid being shoved out after his Mongolian compatriot evaded the full brunt of his initial charge, but Kirishima levered a strong grip to topple the July champion with an overarm throw.
All three sekiwake were victorious on Day 13, with newly promoted Kotonowaka (7-6) pushing out No. 2 Abi (8-5), Daieisho (9-4) slapping down No. 5 Gonoyama (7-6), and Wakamotoharu (8-5) ensuring his place at the third-highest rank by forcing out No. 16 Tsurugisho (8-5).
No. 2 Asanoyama (8-5), looking to return to the three "sanyaku" ranks below yokozuna, picked up his all-important eighth win at the expense of another former ozeki, No. 11 Mitakeumi (8-5).