Russian sumo wrestler dubbed the 'world's strongest kid' has died

Russian sumo wrestler dubbed the ‘world’s strongest kid’ weighing 23 stone when he was nine has died at the age of 21 from ‘acute kidney problems’

  • Dzhambulat Khatokhov, from Russia, was nicknamed Gladiator by his classmates
  • Reports say the 21-year-old wrestler had suffered from acute kidney problems
  • Dzhambulat, known as Dzhambik or Jambik, weighed 23 stone and 2lbs aged 9

A Russian sumo wrestler who was dubbed the ‘world’s strongest kid’ weighing 23 stone when he was nine has died at the age of 21. 

Dzhambulat Khatokhov, nicknamed Gladiator by his classmates, rose to fame at the age of three when he was hailed the strongest and heaviest child on the planet.

He became known around the world as a young boy and featured in several TV documentaries amid deep concern for his weight and health.

Dzhambulat Khatokhov (right), nicknamed Gladiator by his classmates, rose to fame at the age of three when he was hailed the strongest and heaviest child on the planet

Dzhambulat (centre, aged nine) became known around the world as a young boy and featured in several TV documentaries amid deep concern for his weight and health

The cause of death has not been disclosed but reports say he had suffered from acute kidney problems.

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.

At the age of six, he weighed 15 stone and wore size ten shoes.

Dzhambulat, known as Dzhambik or Jambik, pictured in 2018 with TV presenter Olga Buzova

Dzhambulat, known as Dzhambik or Jambik, weighed 23 stone and 2lbs as the age of nine which was more than the combined total of his four classmates.

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.

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. Pictured: Dzhambulat as a baby 

And as a baby, his prams required reinforced wheels after five of them broke.

At birth he had weighed a typical 6lb 6oz but by his first birthday he was more than two stone.

Called the world’s ‘fattest kid’ in the media, 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.

Called the world’s ‘fattest kid’ in the media, he was examined by a British doctor Ian Campbell who warned in 2009: ‘Jambik’s health is dire’. Pictured: Dzhambulat aged three

His mother (pictured with Dzhambulat aged nine) said she had taken him to local and Moscow doctors and that none of them could find any medical problem causing his excess weight

‘As a result of being so heavy so young, his life expectancy is likely to be greatly reduced.’

But his mother said she had taken him to local and Moscow doctors and that none of them could 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.

Dzhambulat Khatokhov, nicknamed Gladiator by his classmates, pictured aged nine with mother Nelya and elder brother Mukha

‘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.

‘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.’

She angrily denied putting him on steroids, but encouraged him being called the ‘world’s strongest boy’.

She hit back at her critics: ‘Do people think I am 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 with steroids when he was two months old? It’s preposterous. I love my son and I will not do anything to harm his health.’

His first wrestling coach in Nalshik admitted it was hard to train him while his mother said he ate ‘normal portions’ aged six 

His first wrestling coach in Nalshik admitted it was hard to train him.

Khasan Teusvazhukov, 48, said: ‘He usually does running and gymnastics but I do not give him full exercises.

‘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.’

Speaking when he was younger, his mother said: ‘He likes showing people how strong he is.

‘It makes him a kind of superhero, a giant who can protect and care for everyone around. He likes to lift me or his brother around the place.’

Speaking when he was six, she said: ‘He eats normal portions, the same as his brother.

‘He might ask for more if he’s really hungry but I never noticed he eats abnormally much.

‘Maybe he eats a bit more than other kids his age, but he is bigger than them thought he never eats more than an adult man….

‘I can’t say how it happens. He just grew bigger and bigger – upwards and outwards. God created him that way.’

Gubzhev said: ‘The first sumo wrestler of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic Dzhambulat Khatokhov has passed away.

‘My condolences to his relatives and friends.’

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