Turkey finishes Tokyo Olympics with best-ever tally of 13 medals
Turkey grabbed two gold medals, two silvers and nine bronze medals while also being represented for the first time in the final of some events.
On the 15th day of the Olympics on Aug. 7, Turkish athletes won three medals.
The country’s second gold medal in Tokyo, following Mete Gazoz’s first-ever medal for Turkey in archery, came when boxer Buzenaz Sürmeneli beat Hong Gu of China in the final of the women’s 69-kilogram category.
Another Turkish boxer Buse Naz Çakıroğlu also fought for gold earlier in the day but lost to Stoyka Zhelyazkova Krasteva of Bulgaria in the final of the flyweight category.
Çakıroğlu’s silver was the first Olympic medal for Turkey in women’s boxing, while Sürmeneli grabbed the first-ever gold for the country at the event.
Also on Aug. 7, karateka Uğur Aktaş grabbed the bronze medal in the men’s 75-kg competition, increasing Turkey’s total medals tally in karate at the 2020 Olympics to four, including a silver medal from Eray Şamdan and bronze medal from Ali Sofuoğlu and Merve Çoban.
The 13 medals won in Tokyo was the highest-ever number for Turkey in the 23 Olympic Games its athletes have competed in so far. The country also enjoyed first-ever medals in some events in addition to archery and boxing.
Gymnast Ferhat Arıcan won the bronze medal in parallel bars, bringing Turkey its first Olympic gymnastic medal, while Yasemin Adar became the first woman wrestler to win a medal at the Games.
Men’s wrestling, an event Turkey is accustomed to winning medals, was not the country’s strongest suit in Tokyo. Despite the high expectations, the men won just two bronze medals, with Taha Akgül in the 125-kg freestyle and Rıza Kayalp in 130-kg Greco Roman.
In addition to the medals, there were also some brilliant performances from young athletes, all at the age of 24, in the track and field that raised the country’s hopes for future major competitions.
In the women’s javelin throw, Eda Tuğsuz became the first Turkish athlete to compete in the final and finished fourth with a throw of the season’s best 64.0 meters.
In the men’s events, two Turkish athletes made it to the finals for the first time in two categories: Necati Er in the triple jump and Ersu Şaşma in the pole vault.
In the women’s modern pentathlon competition, a unique competition format composed of pistol shooting, épée fencing, 200-meter freestyle swimming, show jumping and a 3,200-meter cross-country run, İlke Özyüksel finished fifth, closely missing out the podium.