Shobushu, a 28-year-old sumo wrestler from Japan, died Wednesday following complications from the novel coronavirus, according to USA Today. The Japan Sumo Association confirmed the death of Shobushi, whose real name was Kiyotaka Suetake. He reportedly died of multiple organ failure after contracting high temperatures at the start of last month,
The Japan Sumo Association further reported Shobushi got a fever on April 4, but was not tested immediately for COVID-19 until he had more symptoms. He was taken to a hospital a few days later and moved to intensive care on April 19. The Summer Grand Sumo Tournament was scheduled to take place from May 24 to June 7 at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan. However, the event has since been canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. According to CNN, Shoubushi is sports' first coronavirus death.
"He fought tenaciously against the disease, enduring the pain and suffering for more than a month like a sumo wrestler," said Japan's Sumo Association in a statement on Wednesday. "We hope he will rest in peace now. We are very grateful to everyone in the medical institutes who treated him with utmost care."
It was also reported Takadagawa's stablemaster — a sumo wrestlers' trainer — also tested positive for coronavirus. So far six members of the Jampa Sumo Association have been diagnosed with COVID-19. "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," JSA Chairman Hakkaku said to the Japan Times. "I just want him to rest peacefully now."
According to John Hopkins University, Japan has recorded over 16,000 cases of COVID-19 with 657 deaths. The Japan Sumo Association has an event scheduled later this summer, which will go on as scheduled without fans. As for the U.S., sports are slowly returning as UFC held an event on Saturday — UFC 249. Despite one fighter testing positive for coronavirus before the event, UFC 249 was a success. It has led to other sports leagues calling UFC president Dana White to get pointers on how to host an event without fans. "The leagues have reached out," White said Monday on TMZ Live ... "Different states have reached out to us. And, we're going to share this information with everybody."