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US judoka Jack Hatton, 2020 Olympic hopeful, dead at 24

Hatton was an up-and-coming star in USA judo.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Jack Hatton, a U.S. judoka and a hopeful for the 2020 Olympics, has died at age 24.

"It is with extremely heavy hearts that USA Judo announces the unexpected passing of USA Judo national team member, Jack Hatton," USA Judo wrote on its website Thursday. "We extend our sincere condolences to the Hatton Family, and Jack’s teammates, coaches and friends."

"Jack was one of America’s top judo players and was a multi-time medalist for USA Judo in various competitions across the globe. Jack made an indelible mark on all who had the pleasure of knowing him, and he will not be forgotten. We grieve with the entire USA Judo and international judo community during this tough time. USA Judo is in the process of providing grief counseling services for those in need and will share information on services for Jack as they become available."

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Hatton, from Wakefield, Mass., turned 24 last week. He competed in the 81kg category. He won a silver medal at the 2018 Antalya Grand Prix, golds at two Pan American events in 2017, and bronze at the 2017 Zagreb Grand Prix.

The cause of Hatton's death was not officially released.

Pedro's Judo Center, where Hatton trained, issued a statement on Facebook.

"Along with being a top US Judo athlete, Jack was kind-hearted, caring and an all-around great person. He was a true role model for students at our dojo and judoka all over the country. He will be deeply missed by all of us at Pedro's Judo Center and the rest of the judo world," the post read.

The post also urged people struggling with depression or mental health issues to call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.