This post originally appeared on RT Sport News
Japanese lower-tier sumo wrestler Hibikiryu has tragically passed away aged 28, one month after injuring his head during the sport’s last grand tournament.
The athlete, whose real name was Mitsuki Amano, died of acute respiratory failure at a Tokyo hospital despite showing signs of recovery.
The wrestler was injured in a loss on March 26, when he collapsed in the ring, landing on his head and sustaining a concussion.
Sadly, Hibikiryu has died from complications after hitting his head on the dohyou in the spring sumo tournamenthttps://t.co/5UPwguReir
— Wataru T. 天河 航 (@wataruen) April 29, 2021
According to local reports, he was left lying on the floor for several minutes before being given medical assistance and taken away on a stretcher.
He was brought to a local hospital where he was treated for a spinal injury, but on Wednesday his condition seriously deteriorated.
The Japan Sumo Association confirmed the athlete’s death on Thursday, triggering outrage from fans who lambasted the body for poorly training wrestlers with ring-related injuries and for being slow to provide athletes with medical help during competitions.
I had the pleasure of meeting Hibikiryu in 2017. I fondly remember the cheeky grin on his face as he ran off with the cake I gave him, hugging it protectively from his heya mates. RIP … 28 is way too young to pass away 😥 pic.twitter.com/F5gg56sUIl
— Nicola (@NicolaAnn08) April 29, 2021
“All members of the association express their deepest condolences. He fought hard like a true rikishi with the help of his family and doctors. Now I would like him to rest in peace,” the sumo association’s chairman, Hakkaku, said in a statement.
Hibikiryu is the first active wrestler to die since last May, when another athlete, Shobushi, died of multiple organ failure after contracting Covid-19.