The Lithuanian Taekwondo athlete Aurimas Klemas died at the age of 19 last Friday due to a heart attack after having participated on Thursday Open 2018, which took place in Las Vegas.
The information of Klemas’ decease was confirmed through the local press, the Lithuanian Taekwondo Federation (FLTKD), the Estonian Taekwondo Federation (FETKD) and direct publications on Facebook.
“It is with the greatest pain and sadness that we report that we lost our competitor Aurimas Klemas. Aurimas’s heart stopped. The President of FLTKD, Aleksandras Leonavičius, and the Secretary General, Žymantas Bražiūnas, send deep condolences to the family and people close to Aurimas” the FLTKD published on Facebook.
In addition, the Lithuanian entity wrote that “Aurimas became part of our sports history and an example for others. Nothing is impossible, Aurimas is synonymous with fighter. ”
The tragic loss shcked the Taekwondo global community, with the Estonian Taekwondo Federation joining the FLTKD post and publishing the news on its official Facebook profile.
Klemas was ranked as number 55 in the M-80 kg Olympic Race, while in the World Rankings he was on the 21st position of the M-74 kg division.
Among his most important achievements, the Lithuanian fighter won the gold medal at the US Open last year and finished in third place at the European Champs Sofia 2017, where he reached the podium and tasted bronze.
Aurimas Klemas was the first athlete in his country to win a medal in the European Taekwondo Championship, according to his Federation.
According to the newspaper Bakary Ekpresas, the 19-year-old had been included in the Tokyo 2020 process because of the good results he showed in his first adult competitions. The newspaper also added that the agony began in a room at the Westgate Hotel, where the event was held.
Unofficially, it has been transpired that the cardiac arrest was unleashed as a result of excessive sudden weight loss in order to be able to compete, but this information hasn’t been corroborated yet.
Also, unofficial sources said that the athlete was treated by paramedics of the event, but he was declared dead about five minutes later on his way to the hospital after receiving rescue maneuvers.
In the US Open 2018, Aurimas Klemas lost in the quarterfinals 12-8 against the Spanish Daniel Quesada Barrera from Spain, both competing in the -74 kg category.
To access that stage, Klemas had beaten the American Jared Issed by 16-21 and the Australian Thomas Afonczenko by 3-8.