A 28-year-old sumo wrestler, Mitsuki Amano, died a month after suffering a serious head injury during a wrestling bout.
Amano, known by his wrestling name Hibikiryu, suffered a severe head injury a month ago after being flipped on his head in the ring. Hibikiryu appeared to be unconscious immediately. He died of acute respiratory failure in a Tokyo hospital on Wednesday, the Japan Sumo Association confirmed.
The Japan Sumo Association was criticised for its inaction soon after Hibikiryu’s head injury—he lay face down in the ring for as long as five minutes before being moved. Hibikiryu was being treated for a spinal injury.
Sumo fans reacted with horror on social media after Hibikiryu suffered the injury. Fans paid tributes to Hibikiryu on Twitter—several of them called for reforms in ringside emergency care.
Sumo wrestlers often suffer health complications later in life including dementia. Hibikiryu is the first sumo wrestler to have succumbed to injuries suffered in the ring.