Russian sumo wrestler dubbed ‘world’s strongest kid’ dead at 21


A Russian sumo wrestler once dubbed “the world’s strongest kid,” who weighed 210 pounds when he was just 6 years old, has died at the age of 21, according to a report.

Dzhambulat Khatokhov became a heavyweight sensation when he was 3 and shot to stardom across the globe amid concerns about his health, East2West News reported.

Betal Gubzhev, 29, the president of Sumo and Mass Wrestling Federation of Kabardino-Balkaria, the region where Khatokhov lived, announced his death.

The cause was not revealed but he reportedly suffered from severe kidney problems.

By age 9, when he was known as Dzhambik and nicknamed Gladiator by his schoolmates, he weighed about 320 pounds — more than the combined total of four fellow students.

His mother, Nelya, had lashed back at reports that she was neglecting his health.

“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.

In 2009, a British doctor warned that the boy’s condition was dire.

“His weight means he has a greatly increased risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease,” Dr. Ian Campbell said. “As a result of being so heavy so young, his life expectancy is likely to be greatly reduced.”

Khatokhov’s first wrestling coach said it was hard to train him.

“He usually does running and gymnastics but I do not give him full exercises,” said Khasan Teusvazhukov, 48. “He won’t be able to do most of these anyway because of his size.

“We try to be cautious with him. The doctors may say he is fine, but he doesn’t look like it and I do not want to cause him any damage,” he added.


Dzhambulat Khatokhov is pictured with mother Nelya.

east2west news



Dzhambulat Khatokhov is pictured with mother Nelya and elder brother Mukha.

east2west news



Dzhambulat Khatokhov is pictured as a 3-year-old lifting weights.

east2west news

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But his mother said Moscow doctors could find no medical problems causing his extreme weight.

“We have been through various examinations. Every doctor wanted to find something to explain why Dzhambik 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,” she added.

“But these showed he’s absolutely healthy and his heart, liver and everything else is proportional to his size. They say he is healthy so I don’t worry. I believe he’ll live a long and happy life,” Nelya said.

She also strongly denied that she put him of steroids.

“I can’t say how it happens. He just grew bigger and bigger — upwards and outwards. God created him that way,” she said.

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