Promotion-seeking sekiwake Kotonowaka retained sole possession of first place Wednesday at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament as he comfortably took care of rank-and-file opponent Oho.

The 26-year-old Kotonowaka (10-1) inched closer to both a maiden Emperor's Cup and the 13 wins needed to meet the unofficial ozeki promotion benchmark of 33 wins over three consecutive meets as a sekiwake or komusubi.

Lone yokozuna Terunofuji and both healthy ozeki, Kirishima and Hoshoryu, stayed in title contention on the second rung of the leaderboard by improving to 9-2 on Day 11 at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

In a battle between alumni of sumo powerhouse Saitama Sakae High School, No. 11 maegashira Oho (6-5) initially held his ground against Kotonowaka's thrusting attack but was bundled out after unsuccessfully trying to pull the sekiwake off balance.

Terunofuji halted No. 14 Onosho's title bid at 8-3 with a quick force out in the day's final bout. The grand champion, who is on track to complete his first 15-day tournament since May, anticipated the former komusubi's opening charge and ushered him out.

Kirishima, aiming to secure yokozuna promotion with a second straight championship, had little trouble beating sekiwake Daieisho (6-5) by frontal thrust out.

Hoshoryu handed rookie sensation Onosato (8-3) his second consecutive defeat by getting a strong grip at the jump and executing an underarm throw. Powerfully built No. 15 Onosato faces Terunofuji on Day 12.

No. 1 Wakamotoharu (8-3) is set to reclaim a place among the three distinguished sanyaku ranks below yokozuna after securing a winning record with his victory over No. 10 Tamawashi (7-4).