Turkish Cypriot high jumper Buse Savaşkan breaks 22-year record as she takes bronze in Germany

Buse Savaşkan broke Turkiye’s national indoor record for the high jump on Friday evening with a career-best jump of 1.91 metres at a High Jump event in Wuppertal, Germany.

The international meet brought together Olympic standard high jumpers, with Savaşkan coming third in the women’s event behind German Christina Honsel, who won with a jump of 1.95m, and Mirela Demireva, who took silver with her competition best of 1.93m. Honsel’s jump means she also qualifies for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

For Savaşkan, who competes as a Turkish athlete due to the embargoes on her native Turkish Republic of North Cyprus, this was a sweet moment as she broke Turkiye’s long standing indoor record of 1.91m, set by Can Değer Kılıçer in 2002.

The 24-year-old Turkish Cypriot athlete, who is coached by Ukrainian Gennadi Zuiev, also jumped a lifetime best at Wuppertal, giving her good momentum to qualify for the Paris Olympics.

Savaşkan needs to ideally jump 1.97m – the standard set by the World Athletics Council in November 2022 – and be highly ranked in international women’s high jump to get to Paris. Last year, her world position was 56th with a season’s best of 1.89m.

The talented Turkish Cypriot came first in an international indoor event in Hirson, France, last week with a jump of 1.85m. Her latest jump at Wuppertal will no doubt help her to rise up the rankings.

After Friday’s event at Wuppertal, Fatih Çintimar, President of the Turkish Athletics Federation said in a statement:

“I said that 2024 will be the year of our youth. As of January, records continue to come from our young brothers and sisters. Buse Savaşkan, a citizen of the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus, came a little closer to the Olympic qualification with this result. Hopefully, Buse will be among our athletes who will qualify and represent our country in Paris.”

Savaşkan’s potential as an athlete means she is backed by the Turkish state, allowing her to focus on sport full time. She has been training at a special camp in Portugal preparing under Zuiev’s guidance, who has coached Ukrainian men’s high jumper Andriy Protsenko to World and European medals.