Legendary Japanese judoka competitor and Olympic champion Toshihiko Koga has passed away at age 53, according to multiple reports.
Koga, a three-time Olympian (1988, 1992 and 1996), had reportedly battled cancer recently, though it is unclear if that was ultimately the cause of his passing.
“In addition to an amazing feel for judo, Mr. Koga had superb insight, along with his speed and power. Off the mat, he always had a smile on his face and would cheerfully chat with me. His death came too soon, and he will be missed by the judo world,” said Kosei Inoue, Japan’s national judo team manager, via Nikkei Asia.
Koga won gold at the 1992 Barcelona games in the 71-kg category before earning silver in the 78-kg field at the Atlanta games four years later.
Judo Legend Toshihiko Koga Dead At 53, 1992 Olympic Gold Medalisthttps://t.co/xaKHrGvqq9
— TMZ Sports (@TMZ_Sports) March 24, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers are with Koga’s family and friends during this difficult time.
May he rest in peace.