Kaio remained in sole possession of the lead Friday after a hard-fought win over fellow ozeki Chiyotaikai, while Grand champion Asashoryu was upset again at the Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.
Chiyotaikai, who was handed his fourth straight loss of the 15-day tourney, went on the attack in the penultimate bout with a barrage of arm thrusts. But Kaio held his ground and drove the burly ozeki out with a mammoth shove that carried both wrestlers into the first row of seats.
Heading into the final two days of competition, Kaio has an 11-2 record and a one-win lead over four wrestlers. Chiyotaikai dropped to 6-7 and will just be hoping to finish with a winning record.
In the day's finale, Asashoryu came charging out of the faceoff but was handed his fourth loss against nine wins when giant-killer Sekiwake (10-3) dodged to one side as the Mongolian grand champion hit the dirt.