Turkey completes miserable performance in Athletics Championships
Turkey's Burcu Ayhan Yüksel competes during the women's high jump qualifications at the 2013 IAAF World Championships at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow on August 15, 2013. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFETurkey’s track and field athletes are returning home with their collective tails between their legs after a miserable performance at the 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow, falling far short of successful campaigns last summer.
None of the 10 athletes from Turkey made it to a final in the event, which wrapped up in Moscow on Aug. 18.
In field events, javelin thrower Fatih Avan, shot putter Emel Dereli, discus thrower Ercüment Olgundeniz and high jumper Burcu Ayhan Yüksel failed to make it past their heats. In track events, Tuğba Karakaya Koyuncu in the women’s 1,500m, Tarık Langat Akdağ in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase and Polat Kemboi Arıkan in the 10,000m were also eliminated in their heats. İlhan Tanui Özbilen was the only one that made it to a further round, advancing to the men’s 1,500m semifinals, but he could not qualify for the final.
Ümmü Kiraz and Sultan Haydar also failed to complete the women’s marathon.
The performance was a far cry to Turkey’s summer of 2012, when Aslı Çakır Alptekin and Gamze Bulut completed a historic one-two finish at the Olympic Games in London and the European Championships in Helsinki. Ayhan and Nevin Yanıt (in the women’s 100m hurdles) also advanced to the finals in London.
In Helsinki, Turkey won four gold medals, two silvers and one bronze to cap its most successful performance in the European Championships.
The year 2013 has been disastrous for Turkish athletics so far, with more than 30 athletes testing positive for banned substances, triggering a doping scandal that led to the resignation of the sport’s national chief, Mehmet Terzi.