Russian sumo wrestler Dzhambulat Khatokhov, who entered the Guinness World Records as the world’s heaviest child in 2003, has died at the age of 21, sports officials in his native region said.
Betal Gubzhev, head of the body governing sumo wrestling in the southern Kabardino-Balkaria region, announced Khatokhov’s death on Instagram this week.
He did not disclose the cause of the death however.
The Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid reported that Khatokhov had suffered from kidney problems.
As a two-year-old, Khatokhov weighed about 34 kgs and weighed as much as 180 kgs at one point when he was 13, according to Russian media.
As a boy when he garnered international attention, medical experts worried about his health. However his mother repeatedly defended her child, saying doctors could not find any worrying medical reason for his enlarged size.
She also defended his weight training from an early age.
In 2008, British doctor Ian Campbell visited the boy and carried out a series of tests at a Moscow clinic where he was being treated. The tests showed that the bones of Khatokhov, who was nine years old at the time, were the size of an average 13-year-old boy.
In 2019, Campbell warned: “Jambik's health is dire. His weight means he has a greatly increased risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease.”
Wrestling is popular in Russia’s North Caucasus area, including in the regions of Kabardino-Balkaria, Chechnya and Dagestan.
The boy was dubbed the first sumo wrestler of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic.
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