Skater Ten mourned, 1 suspect arrested

ALMATY • The authorities in Kazakhstan said yesterday they had detained a suspect in the murder of Olympic figure skater Denis Ten, who won bronze at the 2014 Sochi Games.

The 25-year-old Kazakh was knifed during a struggle with two men he had caught trying to steal the mirrors on his car in the city of Almaty on Thursday.

He later died in hospital.

Kazakhstan's Interior Ministry said in a statement that it had identified the two suspects and detained one of them. He has been identified as Nurali Kiyasov, born in 1994. Police are continuing to search for the other suspect, who was not named.

Ten finished 11th at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and, four years later in Russia, became the first figure skater from Kazakhstan to win an Olympic medal.

He was then dogged by injury but competed at the Pyeongchang Olympics in February where he was cheered by local fans because of his Korean roots. He finished 27th.

The international figure skating community has mourned the loss of a talented and resilient athlete as tributes continued to pour in.

"Denis Ten was a great athlete and a great ambassador for his sport," said Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, according to its Twitter page.

The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) yesterday expressed its "shock and immense grief".

"He was one of Asia's most talented and popular athletes and to lose him at such a young age is tragic," said OCA president Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah in a statement.

Retired Canadian figure skater Patrick Chan, who won two silver medals in Sochi and gold in the team event at the Pyeongchang Games, wrote on Twitter he was "so honoured and grateful to have shared the ice" with Ten.

"He was so kind to everyone and a huge inspiration to me and so many other people," American figure skater Adam Rippon wrote on Twitter. "Denis, thank you for showing us how to be a champion."

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 21, 2018, with the headline 'Skater Ten mourned, 1 suspect arrested'. Print Edition | Subscribe