Huge entry for transcontinental swim
THE 30TH SAMSUNG BOSPHORUS CROSS Continenta l Swim Race, orga nised by t he Turkish Olympic Committee, united up to 2,400 participants from 55 countries, including Russia, Ukraine, UK and US to swim 6.5km from the Kanlica Pier in Asia to the Kurucesme Cemil Topuzlu Park in Europe. Turkey’s Dogukan Ulac finished first (46:58) in the Men’s event and his compatriot Hilal Zeynep Sarac won the Women’s (50:30). Sadly it was a l l too much for one loca l competitior. Mehmet Baykal, passed away after feeling ill while just 500m from the finish line. He was given first aid in the sea ambulance and then sent to hospital but couldn’t be saved. The Istanbul race started in 1989 with just 68 swimmers but this year saw 4,892 applicants for the 2,472 available spots. It was named the World’s Best Open Water Swimming Race in 2017 by the World Open Water Swimming Association. Organiser Turkish Olympic Committee par t nered t his yea r wit h Ocean Recover y Alliance – a non-profit organisation working to improve the ocean environment – on their Plastic Disclosure Project (PDP) Sport methodology to reduce the event’s plastic footprint. The Bosphorus Swim is the first sports event in Turkey to join the programme which saw them make a number of changes including adding recycling information on bins and installing plastic bottle-shaped containers to remind swimmers how to dispose of their waste properly.