Golds galore as Turkey enjoys week of historic sporting successes


Turkish sports enjoyed unprecedented international success in a week the country celebrated the Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day earlier on May 19.

European basketball powerhouse Anadolu Efes delighted the Turkish people by winning a back-to-back Turkish Airline EuroLeague title on Saturday.

The Istanbul-based team first beat its Greek opponent Olympiacos Piraeus in the semifinal to reach a third consecutive final.

Efes then successfully defended the title by beating Spanish giant Real Madrid 58-57 in the Final Four final match held in the Serbian capital of Belgrade.

Efes' players celebrate with the trophy after winning the Euroleague final, Belgrade, Serbia, May 21, 2022. (Reuters Photo)

Efes’ players celebrate with the trophy after winning the Euroleague final, Belgrade, Serbia, May 21, 2022. (Reuters Photo)

The victory marked a third overall EuroLeague title for Turkey. Fenerbahçe had previously won the title in the 2016-17 season.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan congratulated Efes on winning the European crown. “My heartfelt congratulations to the Anadolu Efes basketball team, our country’s pride,” he wrote on Twitter.

VakıfBank on volleyball summit

VakıfBank women’s volleyball team completed a historic quintuple as it beat defending champion Italy’s Imoco Volley 3-1 to clinch the CEV Champions League Super Final on Sunday.

VakıfBank players celebrate winning the CEV Champions League Super Final against Italy's Imoco Volley, Ljubljana, Slovenia, May 22, 2022. (AA Photo)

VakıfBank players celebrate winning the CEV Champions League Super Final against Italy’s Imoco Volley, Ljubljana, Slovenia, May 22, 2022. (AA Photo)

The Yellow-Blacks had already won the FIVB World Club Championship, AXA Sigorta Cup Volley, Spor Toto Champions Cup and Misli.com Sultans League earlier in the season.

With the win, VakifBank bagged the fifth CEV Women’s Champions League title in the club’s history, after 2011, 2013, 2017 and 2018.

Turkish teams have dominated the continental competition, winning seven of the last 11 seasons.

Women’s boxers clinch 5 golds

Earlier Friday, Turkish women boxers made their mark at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Istanbul by winning five gold and two bronze medals in different categories.

While Ayşe Çağırır, Buse Naz Çakıroğlu, Busenaz Sürmeneli, Hatice Akbaş and Şennur Demir won gold medals, Sema Çalışkan and Elif Güneri clinched bronze.

With seven medals in total, the women’s national boxing team became the overall world champion.

Taekwondo players conquer Europe

Turkey also became the continental best at the European Taekwondo and Para-Taekwondo Championships held in England.

The national taekwondo athletes reached the top of Europe as a team with a total of 11 medals, including five gold, two silver and four bronze in Manchester.

National para-taekwondo athletes in the meantime, won a total of eight medals, including four gold, three silver and one bronze.

Merve Dinçel, Zeliha Ağrıs, Hatice Kübra İlgün, Hakan Reçber, Emre Kutalmış Ateşli took the podium as gold medalists, while Emine Gögebakan and Görkem Polat took silver.

Turkey's Zeliha Ağrıs celebrates winning gold in the 53-kg category in the European Taekwondo and Para-Taekwondo Championships, Manchester, England, May 19, 2022. (AA Photo)

Turkey’s Zeliha Ağrıs celebrates winning gold in the 53-kg category in the European Taekwondo and Para-Taekwondo Championships, Manchester, England, May 19, 2022. (AA Photo)

Nafia Kuş, Deniz Dağdelen, Muhammed Emin Yıldız and Enbiya Taha Biçer claimed the bronze medals.

In para-taekwondo, Nurcihan Ekinci, Gamze Gürdal, Alican Özcan, Mahmut Bozteke won gold, Meryem Betül Çavdar, Seçil Er and Mehmet Sami Saraç won silver and Oktay Atalay secured the only bronze.

In amputee football, Turkish club Etimesgut Belediye Amputee Sports Club claimed the Amputee Football Champions League trophy on Sunday.

It defeated Poland’s Wisla Krakow 5-2 in the final held in the city of Krakow.

Turkey also won two gold medals at the European Junior Rowing Championships held in Italy over the weekend.

The Turkish national team, consisting of Hamdi Okan Atmaca, Fatih Mehmet Avcı, Alper Şevket Eren, Yusuf Ziya Ateş and Tuana Fatma Yıldız, won the gold medal in the men’s coxed four class.

Turkish duo Ahmet Ali Kabadayı and Halil Kaan Köroğlu, in the meantime, won the gold medal in the men’s doubles.

There was also good news from the World School Sports Olympics held in France.

Turkish young athletes finished the competition, organized by the International School Sports Federation (ISF), with a total of 92 medals, including 25 gold, 25 silver and 42 bronze.

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