Lone yokozuna Terunofuji and promotion-hunting sekiwake Kotonowaka head into a gripping final day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament in a two-way tie for the lead after each improving to 12-2 on Saturday.

Kotonowaka defeated the other overnight leader, ozeki Kirishima (11-3), while Terunofuji won by default following the injury withdrawal of ozeki Hoshoryu on Day 14 at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

Bidding for promotion to ozeki at the 15-day tournament, Kotonowaka needs one more victory to reach the unofficial benchmark of 33 wins over three consecutive meets as a komusubi or sekiwake.