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First sumo wrestler dies of COVID-19

First sumo wrestler dies of COVID-19
© Getty Images

The first COVID-19-related death of a sumo wrestler was reported in Japan on Wednesday.

Kiyotaka Suetake, aged 28 and commonly known in the sport by his alias Shobushi, died after experiencing pneumonia and multiple organ failures, according to the Japan Sumo Association (JSA), CNN reported.

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Shobushi reportedly began showing symptoms of the coronavirus on April 4, including a fever, but struggled to find hospitals that were not overwhelmed with other patients until April 8.

He was admitted to intensive care on April 19 and died Wednesday, according to the report.

As reported by the Japan TimesJSA Chairman Hakkaku said, "I can only imagine how hard it must have been, battling illness for over a month, but like a wrestler, he endured it bravely and fought the disease until the end."

Shobushi began his career in 2007, reaching the rank of 11 in the Sandanme Division, according to CNN.

JSA canceled the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament earlier this month but will still hold its July tournament at a new venue without spectators later this summer.

Across the association, six members have reportedly contracted the novel coronavirus.