[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 July, 2003, 16:44 GMT 17:44 UK
Chechnya claims 'oldest living person'
Kamato Hongo
The current world record holder is 115-year-old Kamato Hongo
The world's oldest living person is believed to have been discovered in war-torn Chechnya - beating by nine years the current record holder.

Health officials in the separatist Russian republic say great-great grandmother Zabani Khakimova is 124 years old.

If her age is authenticated, Mrs Khakimova would beat the current record-holder - Japanese woman Kamato Hongo.

Mrs Khakimova, a devout Muslim from the south-western Achkoi-Martan district, is said to remain energetic and be in comparatively good health despite impaired hearing.

Chechnya's Deputy Health Minister, Sultan Alimkhadzhiyev, said she has 24 grandchildren, 38 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren.

He told Interfax news agency that doctors believed she might be even older than the age on her passport.

"Despite her advanced age, she still works around the house, looks after her numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, and prays five times a day," said the agency report.

Mr Alimkhadzhiyev said she had outlived her oldest son, who died two years ago, but her youngest son was still alive and had 10 children.

'No worries'

The current world record holder is Kamato Hongo - born in 1887 on Tokunoshima Island in southern Japan - who is due to celebrate her 116th birthday in September.

She took the title in March 2002 after the death of the former title holder Maude Farris-Luse, from the United States.

Bed-ridden and needing continuous care, Mrs Hongo sleeps for two days and stays awake for two days. She enjoys a tipple of sake, Japanese rice wine, and uses her arms to perform the traditional dances of her native island.

Her recipe for long life is "not to worry too much".

The world's oldest man is also Japanese. Retired silkworm breeder Yukichi Chuganji, from the island of Kyushu, took the title in January 2002 aged 112.

He is said to hate vegetables but loves to eat meat and drink milk.

World's oldest person celebrates birthday
16 Sep 02  |  Asia-Pacific
Japan has oldest man in the world
04 Feb 02  |  Asia-Pacific


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific