Sabina represented Kazakhstan in the Asian Under-19 Championships
Sabina Altynbekova, 18, was unknown in the media world but after competing for Kazakhstan in the Asian Under-19 Championships she has developed an avid following. And not for the reasons she would like.
The athlete has been getting so much attention for her looks, from fans and media alike, that she has asked her new following to stop posting about her on social media. Sabina said, ‘I was flattered at first but it's all getting a little bit much. I want to concentrate on playing volleyball and to be famous for that, not anything else.'
Her coach has echoed her sentiments saying that the constant emphasis on her looks have made it ‘impossible’ for her to work. Her teammates were also rumoured to be a bit miffed at the focus on Sabina. Her coach added 'the crowd behaves like there is only one player at the championship.'
Let’s face it, it’s not the first time fans have gone wild for an athlete *cough* David Beckham *cough* but the issue lies with the fact that fetishising women in sport is still very much a ‘thing’. From the oodles of media coverage she has received Sabina’s sporting achievements are barely mentioned. We aren’t saying that fans can’t fancy their female sporting idols but, like the Beckham’s of the world, we just want both ability AND attractiveness covered in equal measure. Is that too much to ask?