Turkey jumps in medal standings with late surge
LONDONTurkey jumped 48 spots in the Olympic medal standings with a late surge to finish 31 overall.
Turkey finished the London Olympic Games with two gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze.
Apart from the bronze medal Rıza Kayaalp won earlier last
week, all four medals were collected during the last four days of the events.
Turkey spent the first week of the Olympic Games without a medal, breaking its deadlock only after Kayaalp scored a bronze medal in the men’s 120kg Greco-Roman competition on Aug. 6.
The low medal count was a real disappointment for the country, which broke a record for the nation’s largest Olympic squad ever. Turkey had 114 athletes in London, representing almost a 50 percent rise from the 2008 Beijing squad.
Hopes for 2020
The country had hoped it would make a strong appearance in London to boost its bid for hosting the 2020 Games. Istanbul is one of the three candidates for the 2020 bid, with Tokyo and Madrid also in the race. The 2020 host will be announced in September 2013.
Things began to pick up for Turkey Aug. 9, when Servet Tazegül claimed the gold medal in men’s -68kg taekwondo competition. Tazegül, a bronze medalist in Beijing, added the Olympic gold to his trophy cabinet, which also contains European championships and a world title.
Turkey’s taekwondo success continued Aug. 10 when Nur Tatar lost to South Korea’s Kyung Seon Hwang to claim a silver medal in the women’s -67kg taekwondo.
The historic one-two finish by Aslı Çakır Alptekin and Gamze Bulut in the women’s 1500m final that same day finally took Turkey’s medal tally to two gold, two silver and one bronze, placing the country in the 31st spot. Alptekin and Bulut completed Turkey’s first ever medal double in the Olympics.
The country’s final medal count might have been bigger, but taekwondo fighter Bahri Tanrıkulu and wrestler Ramazan Şahin, both former medalists, lost their bronze medal matches over the weekend.