Acute kidney problems killed the Russian sumo wrestler, who was called ‘the world’s strongest child’ at the age of nine, weighing 23 stones.
He died at the age of 21. Dzhambulat Khatokhov, nicknamed Gladiator by his classmates, gained notoriety at the age of three when he was the strongest and heaviest child on the planet.
His departure was announced by Betal Gubzhev (29), the president of Sumo and Mass Western Federation of Kabardino-Balkaria, the Russian region where he lived.
The cause of his death was not disclosed by his family, but he reportedly had severe acute kidney problems due to his weight and health.
At the age of six, Dzhambulat weighed 15 stones and wore size ten shoes. He became known as a young boy around the world and appeared in several TV documentary films.
His mother, Nelya, a nurse, then 42, backed up in the international media at the time on allegations that she had neglected the health of her child.
“He just grows – up and out. What can I do about it? That’s who he is, that’s how God created him, ‘she said.
At birth he weighed 6 kg, 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 much increased risk for diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Due to the fact that he is so young, his life expectancy is likely to be significantly reduced. ‘
According to his mother, local and Moscow doctors could not find any medical problem that caused his excessive weight.
‘We went through different exams. “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’s clinics, where we did all the available tests, organ scans and tests on hormones.
‘But it showed that he is absolutely healthy and that his heart, liver and everything else are in proportion to his size. They say he’s healthy, so I’m not worried. I believe he will lead a long and happy life. ‘
She denied putting him on steroids, but encouraged him to be called the ‘world’s strongest boy’.
She hits back at her critics: ‘Do people think I’m a killer? Can they really suggest that a mother can do this to her child?
‘Look at his medical record. Do they think I started feeding him steroids when he was two months old? This is ridiculous. I love my son and will do nothing to harm his health. ‘
His first wrestling coach in Nalshik admitted it was difficult to train him.
Khasan Teusvazhukov, 48, said: ‘He usually does running and gymnastics, but I do not give him full exercises.
“In any case, he will not be able to do most of this because of his size.
“We try to be careful with him. The doctors can say he’s doing well, but he does not look like that and I do not want to harm him. ‘
When he was younger, his mother said: ‘He likes to show people how strong he is.
‘It makes him a kind of superhero, a giant who can protect and care for everyone. He likes to lift me or his brother on the spot. ‘
When he was six, she said, ‘He eats ordinary portions, just like his brother.
‘He might ask for more if he’s really hungry, but I never noticed him eating abnormally much.
‘Maybe he eats a little more than other children his age, but he’s bigger than them, even though he never eats more than a grown man ….
“I can not say how it happens. He just got bigger – up and out. God created him that way. ‘
Gubzhev said: ‘The first sumo wrestler from the Kabardino-Balkar Republic Dzhambulat Khatokhov has died.
“My condolences to his family and friends.”