Sports minister gives no Olympic medal target
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey’s Youth and Sports Minister Suat Kılıç addresses reporters before departing for to the Olympics in London. AA photoTurkey’s Youth and Sports Minister Suat Kılıç yesterday refused to give a medal target number ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Kılıç was addressing the media before departing for to the British capital along with Turkey’s largest ever group of athletes. The first group of Turkish athletes arrived in London earlier this week.
Turkey is sending 114 athletes to the Olympic Games and 67 athletes to the Paralympic Games, an all-time high in both events.
“I can’t give a number for our medal targets, that would do injustice to our athletes,” Kılıç said.
“I hope all 181 of our athletes return to Turkey with medals, giving pride to Turkish people,” he added. “But, of course, that might not be possible. Of course, there will be some athletes falling short of medals … But I believe many of our athletes will return from London with medals and records.”
Turkey had 68 athletes in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and 16 athletes in the Paralympics.
Kılıç said the total budget that has been injected into sports federations equaled a total of 300 million Turkish Liras, adding that such amounts were crucial for achieving sporting success. “Does money matter in sports? Yes, it does,” he said. “From equipment to facilities, the economic situation plays a huge part in sports.”