A Russian sumo wrestler who was dubbed the ‘world’s strongest kid’ weighing 23 stone when he was 9, has died at the age of 21 from acute kidney problems.
Dzhambulat Khatokhov, nicknamed Gladiator by his classmates, rose to fame at the age of 3 when he was hailed the strongest and heaviest child on the planet.
His passing was announced by Betal Gubzhev, 29, the president of Sumo and Mass Wrestling Federation of Kabardino-Balkaria, the Russian region where he lived.
The cause of death has not been revealed by his family but reports say he had suffered from acute kidney problems amid deep concern for his weight and health.
At the age of 6, Dzhambulat weighed 15 stone and wore size ten shoes.He became known around the world as a young boy and featured in several TV documentaries.
His mother Nelya, a nurse, then 42, hit back at the time in the international media at claims she was neglecting the health of her child.
‘He is just growing — upwards and outwards. What can I do about it? This is who he is, this is how God created him,’ she said.
At birth he had weighed a typical 6lb 6oz but by his first birthday he was more than two stone.
He was examined by a British doctor Ian Campbell who warned in 2009: ‘Jambik’s health is dire. His weight means he has a greatly increased risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
As a result of being so heavy so young, his life expectancy is likely to be greatly reduced.’
According to his mother, local and Moscow doctors couldn’t find any medical problem causing his excess weight.
‘We have been through various examinations. Every doctor wanted to find something to explain why Jambik is so big,’ she said at the time.
‘None of them discovered anything. When he was five I took him to Moscow clinics where we did all the available tests, organ scans and tests on hormones.
*Edited by Stanley Nwosu