22 July Sunday

Mayor Uysal: “Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming Competition is a Unique Event”

The 30th Bosporus Cross-Continental Swimming Race organized by the Turkish National Olympic Committee (TNOC) and with the support of the IMM was held in Istanbul today.

After the challenging race, Istanbul Mayor Mevlüt Uysal presented athletes their awards. He said: “This organization has no equivalent in the world. It is a very big organization both for Istanbul and for the promotion of our country. We will be here with a much better organization next year.”

Swimmers from 55 countries suited up Sunday for the world's only cross-continental race across Istanbul's Bosphorus, with a Turkish woman and Turkish Cypriot man taking first place in their categories.

A total of 2,419 swimmers participated in the 30th Samsung Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming Race, which began at 10 a.m. Sunday.

In the women's category, Turkish athlete Hilal Zeynep Saraç came in first with a time of 50 minutes 30 seconds. Another Turkish swimmer, Buse Topçu, ranked second and Amy Dantzler of the United States followed by 10 seconds to clinch third.

For men's, Doğukan Ulaç of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) took first at 46 minutes 58 seconds. Turkish swimmer Erge Can Gezmiş came in second at 47 minutes 14 seconds and American Alexander Kostich followed with 47 minutes 41 seconds for third place.

The 6.5-kilometer (4-mile) race course began at Kanlıca pier on the Asian side and finished at Kuruçeşme Cemil Topuzlu Park on the European bank of the Bosphorus.

Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu gave the starting signal at the Kanlıca pier, as athletes began the race in several heats. Each athlete had a chip attached to his or her ankle to track the race time.

Kasapoğlu was joined by Istanbul Governor Vasip Şahin, Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Mevlüt Uysal and Turkish Olympic Committee President Uğur Erdener to present awards to the athletes.

Half of the athletes in this year's competition were foreigners, with Russia and Ukraine contributing the largest portion of applicants. Last year, Russians took first place in both the men's and women's races.

The cross-continental race has gained international renown since it was first organized by the Turkish National Olympic Committee in 1989, with the participation of only 68 swimmers. Last year, the World Open Water Swimming Association (WOWSA) named the Bosphorus course as the best in the world. And, in 2016, it was named "offering of the year."

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