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Suspect confesses to Denis Ten killing

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MOSCOW (AP) — One of two men detained in Kazakhstan on suspicion of killing Olympic figure skating medalist Denis Ten has confessed, authorities said Friday.

Prosecutor Berik Zhuyrektayev said in a televised statement that Nuraly Kiyasov “confessed his guilt in the presence of an attorney” while being questioned over the 25-year-old skater’s death Thursday in the Kazakh city of Almaty.

The prosecutor didn’t give further details of what exactly Kiyasov had said.

Police have also detained 23-year-old Arman Kudaibergenov in connection with Ten’s death, which has prompted national mourning. Authorities released a picture of the disheveled-looking man being held by masked men wearing body armor and camouflage uniforms.

Ten was stabbed after a dispute with people who allegedly tried to steal a mirror from his car in his home city of Almaty. He died in hospital of massive blood loss from multiple wounds, the Kazinform news agency said.

Prosecutors are treating his death as murder.

Kazinform reported that Kiyasov was taken to the scene of the crime under heavy security Friday as part of the investigation.

Ten’s bronze in Sochi in 2014 made him Kazakhstan’s first Olympic medalist in figure skating. He also won the Four Continents Championships in 2015 and was a world silver medalist in 2013.

He struggled with injuries in recent years and could only finish 27th at the PyeongChang Olympics.

Ten had been working on a script in recent months which the Kazakh-Russian director Timur Bekmambetov said Friday would now be turned into a movie.

“We’re definitely going to try to realize his idea and shoot a film dedicated to this multi-talented person,” Bekmambetov said in comments released by Kazakhstan’s embassy to Russia. “In his 25 years, Ten managed to do very much and had grand plans which he would surely have put into practice because he was a real hard worker.”

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Denis Ten, Olympic medalist figure skater, dies

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Denis Ten, the 2014 Olympic figure skating bronze medalist from Kazakhstan, died after he reportedly was stabbed in Almaty on Thursday.

The International Skating Union and the Kazah Olympic Committee confirmed Ten’s death.

Ten, 25, competed in three Olympics and earned world championships silver and bronze medals in 2013 and 2015.

At 16, Ten was the youngest men’s competitor at Vancouver 2010 and finished 11th in his Olympic debut; he was also only the second singles skater Kazakhstan had ever sent to the Olympics.

Ten made unexpected history in 2013, becoming the first skater from Kazakhstan to win a world championships medal. After experiencing health setbacks at the start of his 2014 Olympic season, he was the biggest question mark among the top men in Sochi, but he surprised by becoming the first skater from Kazakhstan to earn an Olympic medal.

Ten struggled through health issues leading into his last Olympics in PyeongChang, where he placed 27th. Those Winter Games were nonetheless special to Ten, who was of South Korean descent; his great-grandfather was a famous general who fought for Korean independence, and there is a statue and memorial dedicated to him in Wonju, a town 35 miles southwest of PyeongChang.

Ten also played a significant role as an ambassador for his hometown Almaty’s bid for the 2022 Winter Games. Beijing got the Games over Almaty in an IOC members vote in 2015.

NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.

Yuzuru Hanyu: Denis Ten intentionally caused practice kerfuffle

Yuzuru Hanyu, Denis Ten
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Olympic gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu reportedly said Olympic bronze medalist Denis Ten intentionally got in his way, which led to Hanyu falling during a World Championships practice session Wednesday, hours before the short program in Boston.

“I’ve watched the video, and I think that was probably intentional,” Hanyu told Japanese media, according to Agence France-Presse. “But I still shouldn’t have got angry at him — that was pointless.”

Hanyu and Ten were among skaters training on a practice rink near the competition venue of TD Garden, and with Hanyu’s short-program music playing, it meant that the Japanese had the right-of-way on the rink, as Icenetwork.com detailed the chain of events:

The Japanese Olympic champion turned to prepare for a triple axel when he saw Ten practicing a camel spin directly in his path. Hanyu yelled, changed his pattern to avoid Ten, and then launched into his axel and fell. While sitting on the ice, he punched the boards.

“Was that really necessary?” Hanyu yelled at Ten, according to Japan’s Kyodo News.

“I honestly didn’t notice it until someone was screaming at my back every time he was passing by,” Ten said, according to Icenetwork. “I don’t think there was an issue; we didn’t hit each other.”

Hanyu went on later that night to post the second-highest-scoring short program under a points system that’s been around for 11 years.

Ten, meanwhile, fell and finished 12th.

The free skate is Friday at 9 p.m. ET, live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra.

MORE: Emotional Hanyu roars into Worlds lead

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