July 20, 2018 / 7:32 AM / a month ago

Kazakhstan detains suspect in murder of Olympic figure skating medalist

ALMATY, Kazakhstan (Reuters) - Authorities in Kazakhstan said on Friday they had detained a suspect in the murder of Olympic figure skater Denis Ten, who won bronze at the 2014 Sochi Games.

FILE PHOTO: Denis Ten of Kazakhstan, bronze medalist in men's singles figure skating of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, attends a news conference after the briefing for International Olympic Committee (IOC) members by the 2022 Winter Olympic Games candidate city of Almaty at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland, June 9, 2015. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy/File Photo

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

Kazakhstan’s Interior Ministry said in a statement that it had identified the two suspects in Ten’s murder and detained one of them.

FILE PHOTO: Figure Skating – Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics – Men Single Skating short program competition – Gangneung Ice Arena - Gangneung, South Korea – February 16, 2018 - Denis Ten of Kazakhstan performs. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

Police released a photograph of the second suspect and said they were looking for him.

Ten finished 11th at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and four years later in Sochi 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.

FILE PHOTO: Bronze medallist Kazakhstan's Denis Ten celebrates during the victory ceremomy after the figure skating men's free skating program at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, February 15, 2014. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo

“Denis Ten was a great athlete and a great ambassador for his sport,” said Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), according to the committee’s Twitter page.

“A warm personality and a charming man. Such a tragedy to lose him at such a young age.”

Retired Canadian figure skater Patrick Chan, who 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 with 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.”

Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg

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