Fatih Atlı claims maiden Kırkpınar oil wrestling title
EDİRNE - Doğan News Agency
Fatih Atlı poses with his golden belt in front of the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne after winning the competition. DHA Photo
Fatih Atlı won the 653th Kırkpınar Oil Wrestling tournament, and claimed the “Başpehlivan” title on June 22 for the first time.
“It’s hot and there is the fans’ pressure, but I overcame it thanks to my coach,” Atlı said.
The golden belt, which weighs 1.4 kilograms, belongs to the oil wrestler champion, named “başpehlivan,” for a year. The champion passes the belt over to the next year’s winner but holds the right to keep the trophy forever if he wins the tournament three times consecutively. The last time a champion held the right to keep the belt forever was Ahmet Taşçı, 16 years ago.
The Kırkpınar competition, which dates back to Ottoman times, has long had pride of place on the Turkish sports calendar due to its long history.