Golden Retriever becomes focus of attention at swimming race
ZONGULDAK – Demirören News Agency
A Golden Retriever stole the spotlight at the Second International Open Water Swimming Race in the Black Sea province of Zonguldak’s Ereğli district on July 28 when it dived into the water to follow its owner and ended up needing to be rescued.
The dog jumped in the sea after seeing his owner, who was participating in the competition, in the water. The dog swam for a while among the competitors before becoming tired and climbing on the back of one of the racers.
“It hurt when something scratched my back. When I looked back, I saw the dog. We came face-to-face, then we swam together for a while,” said contestant Mustafa Kemal Seyit after the race.
Officials overseeing the race retrieved the dog and took it to shore. The audience of the competition watched the incident in awe.
Other than the Golden Retriever, there were other 350 swimmers who competed in the race -- aged from 14 to 77.
The event, organized by Karadeniz Ereğli Municipality in cooperation with İstanbul Yıldızlar Sports Club, included a 1,500-meter and 3,000-meter race. The results were provided in a total of 49 categories by Depar Timing, the official timer of the event.
The first swimmer to come out of the water in the 1,500 meters was Evren Durak at 26:08 while Duygu Özdemir was the first female finisher with 27:31. Nilay Erkal, who delivered a fast time of 37:09, was the overall winner of the 3000 meters. Muhammet Çelik was victorious on the men’s side.
Kürşad Tüzmen, who in previous governments served as a state minister, also participated in the race.
“We have completed a good race. There are also people here [among the audience] who have for the first time in their lives seen Ereğli. So, this [event] has a significant contribution to both domestic and external tourism,” said Tüzmen following the race.
“It is only these [swimming] events that help to lay the foundation of raising swimmers and Turkey’s future Olympics champions,” he also said.