Ozeki Kisenosato and yokozuna Hakuho took different paths to maintain their share of the lead on Saturday, the seventh day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.

Kisenosato's barge and drive proved too much for No. 4 maegashira Tochiozan (1-6), who looked to have matched the ozeki on the initial charge at Ryogoku Kokugikan but was immediately bulldozed out of the ring. Kisenosato seems well-placed for a run at his first championship at the 15-day tournament.

On a day when fellow Mongolian yokozuna Harumafuji pulled out with a hamstring injury, Hakuho downed compatriot Tamawashi to make it seven out of seven after he was initially forced on to the back foot and needed to make two dodging moves. After an exchange of slaps with the gutsy new sekiwake, the yokozuna succeeded in sidestepping another charge from Tamawashi who overstepped to bring a premature end to the bout.

Kakuryu had to work hard to stop his three-day losing streak after No. 3 maegashira Okinoumi (2-5) survived a flurry of throws and a foot sweep from the yokozuna. Okinoumi seemed to have made the most of Kakuryu's exhaustion as he charged forward, but the Mongolian barely executed a pulling overarm throw to snatch a narrow win.

Harumafuji, who was hurt during his win on the fifth day and also wrestled to win on Friday, ends the meets with a 4-3 record as No. 3 maegashira Ikioi (5-2) was handed a win by default.

Three rank-and-filers all bounced back from sixth-day defeats to stay a win behind the leaders. No. 10 maegashira Takanoiwa and 13th-ranked Ichinojo entered with 5-1 records, and it was Takanoiwa who secured the force-out win in the battle of in-form Mongolians.

No. 15 maegashira Sadanoumi ousted 12th-ranked Daishomaru (2-5) for his sixth win, while No. 10 Sokokurai from China's Inner Mongolia also secured his sixth win after grappling out top-flight debutant Chiyoo (2-5).

Up-and-coming No. 1 maegashira Mitakeumi (4-3) had beaten two yokozuna and ozeki each so far but fell to ozeki Terunofuji (3-4) in the last of his seven straight bouts against the sport's top two ranks. Mitakeumi did well but the Mongolian locked up his arms before pushing him off the raised ring.

Goeido (5-2) had a strong charge before he was dodged and left wobbling by Shodai's pulling overarm throw, but shoved the new sekiwake over the straw bales.

Kotoshogiku (2-5) needs eight wins here to retain his ozeki status but was dealt another blow in that bid, falling to a well-timed hand pull down from komusubi Takayasu (5-2) for his fourth straight loss of the tourney.