Mediterranean Games end with grand closing ceremony
MERSİN - Anatolia News Agency
AA photoThe 17th Mediterranean Games in Turkey’s southern province of Mersin ended with a dazzling ceremony after the men’s and women’s singles badminton, rhythmic gymnastics, bocce, men’s and women’s handball final and women’s volleyball competitions.
The games’ flag was handed over to the next host, Spain.
Turkey won two historic gold medals in both women’s tennis singles and doubles at the Mediterranean Games in Mersin. The pair Çağla Büyükakçay and Pemra Özgen won their finals against Anastasia Grymalska and Federica Di Sarra competing for Italy, clinching their historic gold. Büyükakçay also won the singles competition, beating her Spanish rival Sara Sorribes Tormo in two sets. The Turkish martial arts team also delivered a stunning performance, sweeping the medals in karate by winning six golds and two silvers, finishing in a medal spot in almost every category. In the women’s competitions Serap Özçelik in the 50 kg category, Tuba Yenen in 55 kg, Hafza Şeyda Burucu in 68 kg and Meltem Hocaoğlu in +68kg clinched a record number of gold medals. Bahar Erşeker added a silver in the 61 kg category.
In men’s competitions, Ömer Kemaloğlu in the 67 kg category and Serkan Yağcı in 75 kg both won golds. Enes Erkan earned a silver medal in the +84 kg category, completing an almost perfect run.
Elsewhere at the games, Turkish athlete Ümmü Kiraz won a rare medal in long-distance running with a bronze in the half-marathon race.
Overall, Turkey has reinforced its second place in the medal table, which is still led by Italy with its 180 medals, of which 66 are gold. Turkey tallied a total of 116 medals, including 44 golds. France is in third place with 24 golds, followed by Egypt and Spain. The closing ceremony at the Mersin Stadium was attended by thousands of people and also by International Committee of Mediterranean Games president Amar Addadi, Turkish Minister of Youth and Sports Suat Kılıç, Minister of Family and Social Policies Fatma Şahin, Minister of Economy Zafer Çağlayan and Mersin Mayor Macit Özcan.
Addadi said before of the closing ceremony that the event was successful despite a limited preparation time. “The games were hosted perfectly. It is a great success for Mersin and Turkey. We all had an experience of friendship, fellowship and moments of emotions.”
Kılıç said the games had created a new sensation and dynamism in Mersin and added that Turkish athletes were successful and won 126 medals including 47 golds. Özcan delivered the flag of the Mediterranean Games to Addadi, who handed over the flag to Josep Felix Ballesteros, the mayor of the Spain’s Tarragona, the next host.