24 August Monday

Mayor Imamoglu: “There is No Other Swimming Competition in the World that Unites Two Continents”

The 32nd edition of Bosporus Cross-Continental Swimming Race organized by the Turkish National Olympic Committee (TNOC) and with the support of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipalty (IMM) was held in Istanbul yesterday.

Youth and Sports Minister Muharrem Kasapoğlu, Istanbul Deputy Governor Niyazi Erten, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoğlu and TNOC President Uğur Erdener were amongst those that attended the event.

Mayor Imamoğlu said: “On the one side there is the Istanbul Marathon and the Bosphorus swimming race on the other. There are no other races in the world that unite two continents. Therefore, every good event you organize or manage between two continents leaves a mark in the world. The high international participation, which reflects the growing interest in the race from abroad, made me so happy.”

Stating that he will watch the contest with the feeling of “Can I also dare to do it next year”, İmamoğlu completed his words as follows: “I swam the Bosphorus several years ago, but it was a short distance swim. The current of the Bosphorus is always strong and interesting. By layman standards,  I'm not a bad swimmer and I like swimming in the current. Hopefully, I can do this next year."

A total of 1,820 swimmers, 1,120 of whom are Turkish and 700 foreigners from 46 countries, competed in a unique race between Asia and Europe. The race included swimmers of all ages, from 14 to 90.

Hilal Zeynep Saraç from Turkey was crowned champion in the women’s category with her time of 47 minutes, 52 seconds, Saraç was followed by Ilgın Çelik with 48 minutes, 13 seconds and Sudenaz Çakmak with 48 minutes and 46 seconds.

Mustafa Serenay, also from Turkey, came first in men’s race with 46 minutes, 1 second. Atahan Kireşçi came second with 46 minutes and 20 seconds, and Atakan Malgil came third with 47 minutes and 31 seconds.

The race, organized annually since 1989 by the Turkish Olympic Committee (TOC), is the only swimming contest in the world which sees competitors swim from Asia to Europe.

The grueling 6.5-kilometer race course begins in Kanlıca, on the Asian side of Istanbul, and ends in Kuruçeşme Cemil Topuzlu Park on the European side.

This year’s race took place without spectators due to strict COVID-19 measures put in the place by event organizers.

From start to finish, every stage of the race was observed to be following social distancing rules and other public health measures aimed at protecting the health and wellbeing of all those taking part in the event.

Click for photos: https://box.ibb.gov.tr/index.php/s/aFwpm67aj1U858E

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