Ozeki Chiyotaikai sidestepped Kisenosato at the last minute Saturday to remain in sole possession of the lead at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo.
After absorbing a series of arm thrusts to the upper body, top maegashira Kisenosato forced Chiyotaikai to the edge and appeared headed for an upset win at Ryogoku Kokugikan.
But perched on the straw ridge, Chiyotaikai calmly stepped to his side and swatted Kisenosato out to remain perfect at 7-0. Kisenosato fell to 4-3.
In other major bouts, Mongolian Hakuho kept pace after slapping down third-ranked maegashira Aminishiki to improve to 6-1.
Hakuho, who is making his ozeki debut, knocked Aminishiki off balance with a series of slaps to the face and then hauled his opponent down to remain one win back. Aminishiki dropped to 4-3.
Sekiwake Miyabiyama stayed in the hunt after twisting down Mongolian Ama to improve to 6-1.
After a collision at the faceoff, the two wrestlers jostled for the control of the belt with Miyabiyama coming out the winner when he hauled down the struggling komusubi, who dropped to 1-6.
In the day’s biggest upset, top maegashira Kakizoe spun Bulgarian Kotooshu around in the day’s final bout and shoved the ozeki out to pick up his third win against four losses. Kotooshu fell to 4-3.
Ozeki Kaio took advantage of his weight advantage when he barreled into the chest of Mongolian Kyokutenho and muscled the komusubi out to pick up his fifth win against a pair of losses.
Kyokutenho, who put up little resistance against the burly ozeki, dropped to 2-5.
Earlier Saturday, ozeki Tochiazuma pulled out of the tournament after being diagnosed with ligament damage in his left knee.
Tochiazuma dropped to 2-4 on Friday after losing to Kakizoe.