Turkey eyes five gold medals at the Olympics

July 31st, 2008 - 4:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, July 31 (Xinhua) Turkey has set a target of five golds and more than ten medals at the forthcoming Beijing Olympics, said Mehmet Atalay, head of the Turkish Olympic delegation. “Beijing Olympic Games is a very important sports event and that’s why we attach so much importance to the Games,” Atalay said Wednesday.

Atalay expressed hope that the country could win more medals than it did four years ago in Athens. Turkish athletes won 10 medals, including four gold, three silver and three bronze medals, in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

Atalay said that weightlifting and wrestling would be Turkey’s trump cards.

Naim Suleymanoglu set the Turkish weightlifting bandwagon rolling 20 years ago.

Suleymanoglu’s triple Olympic victory was followed by yet another three-medal haul by Halil Mutlu and, even though these two legends will not compete in Beijing, Turkey has athletes to count on, especially Taner Sagir.

Sagir became an Olympic winner at the age of 19 at Athens. Now he eyes his second gold medal, dismissing claims that an injury would keep him out of the Olympics.

Nurcan Taylan, who will compete against her fellow Turk, Sibel Ozkan, in the women’s 48-kilogram category will defend her title.

“My training is good and I’m ready to win again”, Taylan told reporters.

The Turkish delegation is composed of 106 members, among which 68 are athletes.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Sports |