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What 130 years old looks like.

 
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SACHIRE, Georgia (AP) Authorities in the former Soviet republic of Georgia claim a woman from a remote mountain village turned 130 on Thursday, making her the oldest person on Earth.

Antisa Khvichava from western Georgia was born on July 8, 1880, said Georgiy Meurnishvili, spokesman for the civil registry at the Justice Ministry.

The woman, who lives with her 40-year-old grandson in an idyllic vine-covered country house in the mountains, retired from her job as a tea and corn picker in 1965, when she was 85, records say.

"I've always been healthy, and I've worked all my life at home and at the farm," said Khvichava, in a bright dress and headscarf, her withering lips rejuvenated by shiny red lipstick. Sitting in the chair and holding her cane, Khvichava spoke quietly through an interpreter since she never went to school to learn Georgian and speaks only the local language, Mingrelian.

Her age couldn't immediately be independently verified. Her birth certificate was lost one of the great number to have disappeared in the past century amid revolutions and a civil war which followed the collapse of the Russian Empire.

But Meurnishvili showed two Soviet-era documents that he says attest to her age. Scores of officials, neighbors, friends, and descendants backed up her claim as the world's top senior.

The Gerontology Research Group currently recognizes 114-year-old Eugenie Blanchard of Saint Barthelemy, France, as the world's oldest person. The organization is yet to examine Khvichava's claim.

Although Khvichava has difficulty walking and has stayed largely in bed during the past seven years, she makes a point of hobbling unaided to the outhouse on the other side of the yard, loathe to be a nuisance, Mikhail said.

Though her body has all but quit on her her fingers cramped and deformed by age mean she can no longer maintain her love of knitting relatives say her mind remains sharp.