Sabina Altynbekova is the volleyball player for the Kazakhstan Under-19 team that has caught the attention of the sports world.
The 18-year-old has apparently been receiving so much attention for her good looks that her teammates are upset.
“Fans just stare at her and they are not following the championship any more,” reported Vesti.
“It is impossible to work like this,” coach Nulran Sadikov added to Tengrin News.
“The crowd behaves like there is only one player at the championship.”
Part of the problem was that before Kazakhstan was knocked out of the 2014 Asian Junior Women’s Volleyball Championship, Sabina actually didn’t play that much. Cameras would pan to her on the bench.
The fandom of Altynbekova seems to span across Asia, with tens of thousands of followers from countries including Vietnam, Taiwan, and the Philippines on Facebook pages dedicated to supporting her, reported the Daily Mail.
Numerous followers also use Twitter to try to even just get a reply acknowledging their presence, often using the hashtag “#LoveSabina.
“Say hello please reply your #LoveSabina from indonesiaa >_<,” said one.
The player herself says that she enjoys the attention but would like the fans to focus on the sport.
“I was flattered at first but it’s all getting a little bit much,’ she said. ‘I want to concentrate on playing volleyball and to be famous for that, not anything else,” she said.