Bosphorus Cross Continental Swim
|Bosphorus Cross Continental Swim|
Boğaziçi Kıtalararası Yüzme Yarışı
Course of the Bosphorus Intercontinental Swim in the Istanbul Strait, Turkey.
|Location||Bosphorus, Istanbul, Turkey|
The Bosphorus Cross Continental Swim (Turkish: Boğaziçi Kıtalararası Yüzme Yarışı) is an open water swimming event between the continents Europe and Asia held annually at Bosphorus, Istanbul, Turkey. Established in 1989, the event is organized by the Turkish Olympic Committee and sponsored by Samsung.
The event was held for the first time on July 23, 1989 and 64 men and 4 women took part. The next year, the course's start was relocated from Çubuklu to Kanlıca, extending the distance to 6.5 km (4.0 mi). In 1992, the event became international with the participation of 22 swimmers from Czechoslovakia and two from the United States. The course record was set in 2006 by Turkish swimmers Alişan Alaşlı in the men's category with 39:07.11 and Beren Kayrak in the women's category with 40:50.35. Since 2010, every swimmer completing the course receives a certificate titled "Intercontinental Swimmer".
Many notable swimmers from all over the world have entered the event during its history. In 2012, American swimmer Mark Spitz, nine-time Olympic champion, and former world record-holder in seven events, was a guest, and performed shows. In 2013, Australian Olympic gold medalist swimmer Ian Thorpe was also a competitor.
Turkish woman Fatma Nazan Göğen has taken part every year since its beginning in 1989. Turkish Levent Aksüt has been the oldest swimmer so far at the age of 85. Local sportsman Hasan Eskioğlu holds the record for the most victories at ten times, of which seven were in a row.
More than 2,000 swimmers, including over 500 females with half of them being foreigners, from over 50 countries participate at the event. Currently, the number of foreign swimmers is limited to 1,000, and only up to 300 are permitted to participate from each country. There are 12 age categories for each gender, from the age of 14 to 70 and over.
The route starts at the Pier of Kanlıca, north of the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, in the Asian part of Istanbul, runs southwards, and finishes at Cemil Topuzlu Park in Kuruçeşme, north of the Bosphorus Bridge, in the European part of the city.
Start of the 2016 Swim from a passenger ferry boat at Kanlıca Pier.
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