A record participation of 1,661 swimmers participated in the 26th Samsung Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming Race in Istanbul on Sunday, July 20, 2014.
Swimmers from around the world participated in Turkey’s legendary race where athletes swam a challenging 6.5km course from Asia to Europe. This year’s celebrity guest, Dutch swimmer Inge de Bruijn, signalled the start of the race following a day on the shores of Kuruçeşme Cemil Topuzlu Park yesterday.
De Bruijn, who holds eight Olympic medals, five world championship titles and 12 world records, said, “I am really excited to be back in Turkey. I have many happy memories here, including a wonderful memory from 1999 where I won two gold medals and one silver medal at the European Championships. This was a terrific competition. Since then I have come back many times, to Istanbul and to many other places in Turkey. It is a privilege to be invited by the Turkish Olympic Committee and Samsung to meet the young swimmers. The Samsung Bosphorus Cross-Continental Race is such a unique race – I’ve never experienced anything like it!”
This year’s race involved approximately 1000 national and 600 international swimmers, 15 athletes with physical impairments and three special athletes, representing Turkey’s diversity.
President of the Turkish Olympic Committee, Professor Dr. Uğur Erdener, said following the race:
“The 26th Samsung Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming Race has been a fantastic success once again this year. With a record number of 1,661 athletes competing, this is our biggest race yet. The Turkish Olympic Committee, along with our partner Samsung, organise this event each year to inspire Turkey and the rest of the world with the Olympic values of excellence, respect and friendship. All of these values have been demonstrated here today by our fantastic swimmers - my congratulations to all participants in the race. We hope to see everyone here again next year for another day of competition and festivities at this very special event.”
Turkish swimmer Hasan Emre Musluoğlu, who won last year’s race and swam with Inge de Bruijn during her time in the Bosphorus yesterday, was awarded a gold medal again this year for completing the course first, with a finish time of 41.26. As in last year, Bertuğ Coşkun came second and Egor Savchenko from Russia came third.