MOSCOW (Reuters) - A hunter and herdswoman from Arctic Russia hopes to claim the title of the world’s oldest living person following new research, Interfax news agency reported on Tuesday.
Staff in the national archive in Russia’s remote province of Yakutia have found church records proving that Varvara Semennikova was born in May 1890, which makes her 117, reported Interfax.
If proven to be true, Semennikova would be older than Japan’s Yone Minagawa, who was recognized by Britain’s Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest person. She died on Monday at the age of 114.
Another title rival is a former Ukrainian shepherd, Hryhory Nestor, who national researchers there say, is 116.
Semennikova belongs to a local indigenous tribe, the Evenks and for a long time lived their traditional life, migrating with herds of deer and hunting, said Interfax.
Semennikova has brought up four adopted children, all of whom later left home to receive an education.
“The oldest resident of Yakutia has no complaints about her health and enjoys good memory,” Interfax said.
“She likes telling about her life and she shows an interest in the daily life of her own region and of Russia.”
According to the Guinness Book of Records, the longest any woman has lived is 122 years. The oldest man was 120 when he died in 1986.