Modest success for Turkey at European Championships 2018


Turkish athletes came away with six medals, including gold in the Men’s 200m, at the inaugural European Championships. The new multi-disciplinary event, jointly hosted by Berlin and Glasgow, concluded on Sunday, 12 August, after 11 days of competition.Athletics were held in the Olympic Stadium in the German capital, while other sports – aquatics, cycling, golf, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon – took place in Scotland’s largest city. It was in athletics that the Turks took the bulk of their medal haul.

World 200m champion Ramil Guliyev was in blistering form to also take the European title, setting a new European Championship record with his winning time of 19.76 secs. Britain’s Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake took silver after running a season’s best of 20.04 secs, with Switzerland’s Alex Wilson in third place. Britain’s Adam Gemili, who claimed 200m gold in 2014, was fifth in 20.10 secs.

Guliyev also powered Turkey to silver in the Men’s 4x100m relay. The team, comprising Guliyev, Emre Zafer Barnes, Jak Ali Harvey, and Turkish Cypriot Yiğitcan Hekimoğlu from Girne, set a new national record with a time of 37.98 secs. They beat the Netherlands into third, whose team broke its national record with 38.03 secs, while Britain’s quartet took gold finishing in 37.80 secs.

Turkey wins silver in Men’s 4x100m Relay (L-R): Yiğitcan Hekimoğlu, Jak Ali Harvey, Ramil Guliyev & Emre Zafer Barnes

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Turkish hurdler Yasmani Copello won silver in the Men’s 400m Hurdles. The Cuban-born athlete set a personal record in the final with a time of 47.81 secs, beaten by Norway’s Karsten Warholm, who won a gold medal after running 47.64 secs. Ireland’s Thomas Barr took the bronze with a time of 48.31 secs.

There was a bronze a piece for Jak Ali Harvey (Men’s 100m) and Yasemin Can (Women’s 5,000m).  Harvey, originally from Jamaica, came third after running 10.01 secs in the final. Like Guliyev, Harvey leaves Berlin with two medals. The top two medals in the Men’s 100m were won by Britain.

Can was the only female athlete to win for Turkey. The Kenyan-born runner held her composure to overtake Lonah Salpeter, after the Israeli mistakenly thought the race had ended a lap earlier. Can snapped up third place, behind Britain’s Eilish McColgan (silver) and Dutch winner Sifan Hassan.

Yasemin Can was Turkey’s only female winner, taking bronze in Women’s 5,000m

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Although most of Turkey’s medal triumphs came on the track in Berlin, there was one notable success in Glasgow. İbrahim Çolak, 23, won silver in the Men’s Rings, becoming the first Turk to win a silver medal in Artistic Gymnastics at a major championships.

The gymnast had taken bronze in the same event at the European Games in Baku in 2015, but went one higher in Glasgow scoring 15,100 points. Greece’s Eleftherios Petrounia took gold with 15,400 points, while Britain’s Courtney Tulloch received a bronze with 15,000 points.

İbrahim Çolak becomes first Turk to win silver in Artistic Gymnastics

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The Turks sent a team of 94 athletes to the European Championships to compete in five sporting fields: Artistic Gymnastics, Athletics, Diving, Swimming, and Synchronised Swimming. Turkey finished 22nd in the medal table against a total of 34 competing nations. The next European Championships will take place in four years’ time.


Main photo top: Turkey’s Ramil Guliyev after winning Men’s 200m gold at European Championships 2018, Olympic Stadium, Berlin, 10 August 2018. Photo © Twitter/Ramil Guliyev