Japanese Olympic judo champion Koga Toshihiko died on Wednesday at the age of 53.
People close to him say he underwent cancer surgery last year.
Koga was a native of Fukuoka Prefecture, which is located in southwestern Japan. He enrolled in an elite judo training center when he was a junior high school student.
Koga is known for his Seoinage, or shoulder throw, technique. He won a gold medal in the men's 71- kilogram division at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, despite sustaining a serious injury to his left knee before the bout. He took part in three straight Olympics between 1988 and 1996.
Koga retired from competition in 2000. He then opened a judo training hall for children and coached Japan's national women's judo team. A member of that team later won an Olympic gold medal.