On Campus

UPEI student dies after martial arts workout

Cause of death unknown

Prince Edward Island’s chief coroner is investigating the sudden death of a university student who collapsed after a mixed martial arts sparring session.

Rene Ayangma, 20, had just finished training Tuesday night for his second professional fight when he collapsed at a gym in Stratford, P.E.I. He died later in hospital.

His father, Noel Ayangma, said his son “was one of the nicest persons you would ever see.”

“He was always happy. He loved everybody. For his age, he was just too much,” he said Wednesday night.

Ayangma is the second young athlete to die this week in unexplained circumstances. Mickey Renaud, captain of the Ontario Hockey League Windsor Spitfires, collapsed on Monday at his home in nearby Tecumseh, Ont. He was 19.

Rene Ayangma was a biology student at the University of Prince Edward and a former member of the school’s soccer team. A Facebook group established in Ayangma’s memory attracted more than 1,000 members by midday Wednesday. “You will be missed man … you’re too young to go,” one person posted on the group. “I was looking forward to the next fight. See you someday dude!” Another person said his favourite memory of Ayangma “would have to be any time I saw him.”

Ayangma won his professional debut in Moncton, N.B., in December. He was training for a March 15 in Halifax when he collapsed and died.

– with a report from CP