The Rio Games concluded on Sunday with the Turkish Olympic team achieving modest success. The 103-strong squad won a gold, three silver and four bronze medals in four different sports – wrestling, weightlifting, taekwondo and athletics – leaving them 41st in the national medal table.
Turkey’s sole gold came in wrestling. Taha Akgül (pictured below) was crowned Olympic champion in the 125kg freestyle competition after he beat Iran’s Komeil Ghasemi in the final. 25-year-old Akgül was 12th in the 120kg category in London in 2012, but last year he progressed to take both the World and European titles.
“I still cannot believe that I am now an Olympic, world and European champion,” he told Anadolu Agency on Sunday. “I am very happy that I brought this medal home.” He dedicated his victory to the victims of Saturday night’s terror attack in Gaziantep.
Wrestling was again the best achieving sport for Turkey, with Riza Kayalp (Men’s Greco-Roman 130kg) and Selim Yaşar (Men’s Freestyle 86 kg) both winning silver. There were two bronze-winning wrestlers: Cenk İldem (Men’s Greco-Roman 98kg) and Soner Demirtaş (Men’s Freestyle 74 kg).
Elsewhere, Cuban-born Yasmani Copello took bronze in the Men’s 400m Hurdles, while Nur Tatar was Turkey’s only female medal winning Olympian. She won a bronze in the Women’s Taekwondo 67kg category after beating Chia-Chia Chuang from Chinese Taipei.
Daniyar Ismayilov was Turkey’s first medal winner at the Rio Games. He came second in the Men’s Weightlifting 69kg competition.
Main photo: Turkey’s sole female medal winner at the Rio Games was Nur Tatar, shown here fighting Chia-Chia Chuang for a bronze in the Taekwondo 67 kg competition