• Kyodo


Former pro wrestler and television personality Thunder Sugiyama, whose real name was Tsuneharu Sugiyama, died of heart failure brought on by diabetes at a Nagoya hospital Saturday, his office said. He was 62.

Sugiyama, from Nagoya, took part in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics as a member of the Japanese national wrestling team.

In 1965, Sugiyama became a professional wrestler, teaming with pioneer Japanese wrestler Giant Baba to became one of the nation’s leading wrestlers. He was known for his trademark “raiden (thunder and lightning) drop” technique.

After retiring from wrestling, he became a television and film personality.

Sugiyama had suffered from diabetes for some 20 years and was hospitalized in March.

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