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Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan's Brightest Olympic Medal Hope Clears Legal Hurdle Over Fight

Aisuluu Tynybekova is Kyrgyzstan's best hope of winning a medal at the London Olympics
Aisuluu Tynybekova is Kyrgyzstan's best hope of winning a medal at the London Olympics
By Farangis Najibullah
Kyrgyzstan's best hope for an Olympic medal has been cleared to compete in London, but her legal troubles may give her opponents one more reason to fear her.
 
The country's premier female wrestler, 19-year-old Aisuluu Tynybekova, is facing hooliganism charges for an April incident in the Kyrgyz capital in which she is accused of punching a teenage girl in the face, breaking her nose, and causing other injuries.

The girl's family filed the charges against Tynybekova on behalf of the alleged victim, a minor, and reportedly appealed to the country's Olympic Committee seeking the wrestler's disqualification from the Games.
 
Tynybekova escaped that move on July 20 when a court ruled that she was free to travel to London, where she will enter the 63-kilogram freestyle competition that begins August 8, and that her trial would be resumed upon her return.
 
The charges against the wrestler carry serious penalties -- up to five years in prison.
 
The plaintiffs claim that Tynybekova and a fellow wrestler attacked the teenager, Yasmina Nurdi Kyzy, in broad daylight in downtown Bishkek.
 
Nurdi Kyzy's mother, Nurilya Kochkorbaeva, says her daughter sustained serious injuries.
 
"We had to visit a psychologist to treat psychological damages. [My daughter] is also experiencing breathing problems. In autumn she has to undergo preventative treatment for a concussion she suffered," Kochkorbaeva said.
 
"Next year, she will have a plastic surgery on her nose because her nose bones were broken."
 
Tynybekova denies the allegation, saying she acted in self-defense. According to her version of events the two athletes were attacked by a group of young people, among them Nurdu Kyzy.
 
'Mountain Ram'
 
The wrestler from the southern city of Jalal-Abad says the group hurled insults at her, calling her "a mountain ram." The athlete, whose childhood spent on a small farm helping her family herd cattle and milk cows has been well-documented, has been quoted by local media as saying she frequently hears the insult and has become "used to it."
 
Tynybekova's coaches have stood by the wrestler.
 
Olympic Profile: Kyrgyzstan's First Female Wrestleri
X
May 29, 2012
Nineteen-year-old Aisuluu Tynybekova expects to be the first woman to compete for Kyrgyzstan in freestyle wrestling at the Olympics. She's a match for some of her male teammates in the ring, but wonders aloud whether she's getting second-class treatment. (Eliza Kenenbaeva and Zhanar Djoldoshbaev of RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service)
(WATCH: On the mat with Aisuluu Tynybekova)

The head coach of the female wrestling team, Nurbek Izabekov, has said that national sports officials have tried to reach an out-of-court settlement without success.
 
"We apologized for the incident before the victim's family and offered to pay for her medical treatment, but to no avail," Izabekov told "Vecherniy Bishkek" daily.
 
The athlete's defense lawyer, Timur Janaev, has gone so far as to accuse the victim's family of seeking to cash in on the incident.
 
"Well, two girls had a fight, and what's done is done. We've tried to resolve it outside court. I think now they have started blackmailing right before the Olympics," Janaev said.
 
The highly publicized case has divided public opinion in Kyrgyzstan. Some comments on media and social networks say the athlete must face the consequences of her actions. 
 
"No one should get away with breaking another person's nose, no matter who they are -- a president or a champion," a Bishkek resident wrote in a comment to a K.News article.
 
Some others call the incident a provocation intended to extort money from the athlete.
 
The victim's mother, Kochkorbaeva, initially demanded some $11,000 in compensation for bodily harm and moral damages. However, on the eve of the July 20 hearing Kochkorbaeva dropped the compensation demand, saying the family seeks only to bring their daughter's assailant to justice.
 
Outraged by the court decision allowing the wrestler to go to London, Kochkorbaeva vowed she would fight until Tynybekova is punished for the incident.
 
Written by Farangis Najibullah, with reporting by RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service correspondent Gulaiym Ashakeeva.
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
July 21, 2012 22:17
Why on earth is this a top story on your web page? This should be relegated to a local newspaper's small crime section. Syria is burning, and you are sleeping, you have a very old Syria story on your page. Wake up radio free, wake up.
In Response

by: Plim
July 22, 2012 20:16
Plenty of other places to read about Syria. RFERL focuses mostly on former socialist block. You need to wake up as you seem disoriented.

by: asdf from: usa
July 22, 2012 05:05
Yeah, well... Don't insult olympic wrestlers. duh.

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