Pioneering Hawaiian-born sumo champion Akebono dies aged 54

Tributes paid to wrestler, who was born Chad Rowan and became the sport’s first non-Japanese grand champion in 1993

Tributes have been paid in Japan to Akebono, the first foreign wrestler to reach the pinnacle of the sport of sumo, who has died aged 54.

The wrestler, who was born Chad Rowan in Hawaii, is regarded as a pioneer after he broke down cultural barriers in the centuries-old sport to become the first non-Japanese yokozuna grand champion in 1993.

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