Hakuho capitalized on a defeat for fellow Mongolian grand champion Harumafuji by knocking over Tamawashi to zero in on his 38th career championship title at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament on Friday.

Harumafuji fell to his second defeat at the hands of sekiwake Takayasu, who virtually sealed his promotion to ozeki with his 11th win of the tourney, before Hakuho (13-0) took full advantage in the day's finale to keep his record unblemished and move two wins clear.

After a nervous start, Hakuho got himself into position and surged forward to crush out sekiwake Tamawashi (9-4). He can now secure his first Emperor's Cup in a year with a day to spare on Saturday.

Hakuho, whose last championship came here at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan with a perfect 15-0 record at last year's Summer tourney, faces ozeki Terunofuji on Saturday, and enters with an 8-4 career record against his countryman.

Harumafuji and Terunofuji are tied at 11-2 along with Takayasu, who got off to a strong start at the charge but looked dead and buried in the day's penultimate bout after he lost control of Harumafuji's belt.

Takayasu had his back to Harumafuji but he somehow managed to escape the jaws of defeat, swiveling at the ring's edge and roaring back to slap the yokozuna down.

The sekiwake needed at least 10 wins here to be considered for ozeki promotion, for a total of 33 over three straight tournaments, but moving up a rank now looks like a mere formality.

"I've a renewed sense of fulfillment from having continued sumo," Takayasu, whose mother is from the Philippines, said. "I kept plugging away and I'm glad it paid off."

"I've managed to wrestle with confidence from Day 1. I've had lots of cheers even from the ring entering ceremony and that psyched me up even more."

Japan Sumo Association Chairman Hakkaku said, "You get the feel that Takayasu has become particularly strong at this tournament. Today's win was huge. He's stronger because he's continued to train rigorously."

Terunofuji kept alive his title hopes, notching an 11th win and condemning fourth-ranked megashira Tochiozan to a losing record (5-8) with a kotenage armlock throw.

In other bouts, Goeido had to fight tooth and nail against fourth-ranked maegashira Takarafuji (3-10), but prevailed to secure the eighth win he needed to retain his ozeki rank.

Goeido, who won last year's Autumn tourney with a perfect record, was fighting to save his ozeki rank for the fifth time. He posted a 1-5-9 losing mark after pulling out of the Spring meet on the sixth day with an ankle injury.

With only pride left to fight for after suffering a majority of losses on Thursday, sekiwake Kotoshogiku posted a fifth win, locking up second-ranked maegashira Okinoumi (1-12) and bundling him over the ridge.

Ura started the day tied for third place at 10-2, but the 10th-ranked maegashira was slapped down to his third defeat by sixth-ranked Ikioi (9-4).

Natsu Basho: Day 13 Results