North Cyprus has successfully hosted another international sporting event. 431 sportsmen and women from 19 countries took part in the 18th International Dr Fazıl Küçük Sports Games, which ran from 10-28 October 2018.
Prime Minister Tufan Erhürman welcomed the athletes at the official opening ceremony at the Acapulco Hotel televised live on BRT 1. Alongside those representing the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC) were athletes from Turkey, Belarus, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Russia, Macedonia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Germany, Romania, Scotland, Moldavia, Iran, Norway and Uzbekistan.
The competition covered five sports: badminton, billiards, table tennis, taekwondo, and wrestling. Various venues in Girne, Lefke and the capital Lefkosa hosted the different sports.
Teams from Turkey were victorious in Badminton (Boys’ team and individual), Table Tennis and Wrestling. The TRNC came second in wrestling among five nations and six teams (Bulgaria fielded two teams), but struggled in Table Tennis and Badminton, the latter featuring sides from Azerbaijan, Georgia and Macedonia. Romania won both the Badminton Individual and Girls Team Cups.
Also part of the Games was the European Youth Team Cup, organised by the North Cyprus Billiards Federations. Six nations took part – the TRNC, Turkey, Belarus, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Russia. While Russia and Ukraine prevailed in the individual youth team, taking gold in the U17 and U19 categories, it was the TRNC which was triumphant winning the European Youth Team Cup after an exhilarating final with Ukraine.
The Games also incorporated the 30th World Taekwondo tournament, the 17th GTF Eurasian Taekwondo tournament, and the 5th World BudoMartial Arts Championships, each running on a single day between 25 and 27 October at the Avrasya Sports Arena in Girne. Despite the international embargoes, under the expert guidance of grand master Eyup Zafer Gokbilen Turkish Cypriots have excelled in the sport, and they again showed world-beating form at the weekend.
The TRNC team became GTF Taekwondo and Budo champions winning with huge margins against the other nations. Turkish Cypriots also appeared on the podium for all but four of the two dozen plus individual Taekwondo and Budocategories. In some categories, such as the Junior Boys and Girls Hyong/Pumse/Kata and Veteran Ladies Hyong 1, TRNC athletes took all three top positions.
Among the notable highlights for the Turkish Cypriot Taekwondo and Budo team was the performance Korhan Cagin and his young son, who between them won two gold and one silver medals. Moldova and Ukrainian athletes also performed well, winning individual multiple golds at the 3-day championships.
The annual sporting event is held in honour of the late Turkish Cypriot leader Dr. Fazıl Küçük.