Istanbul’s world-famous Bosphorus strait was closed to traffic today as thousands of swimmers from around the world participated in the 32nd Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming Race.
Hilal Zeynep Saraç from Turkey was crowned champion in the women’s category with a time of 47 minutes 52 seconds while Mustafa Sevenay from Turkey finished first in the men’s category with a time of 46 minutes 1 second.
Ilgın Çelik from Turkey finished 2nd with 48 minutes 12 seconds and Sudenas Çakmak from Turkey finished 3rd with 48 minutes 46 seconds in women’s category while Atahan Kireşçi from Turkey placed 2nd with 46 minutes 20 seconds and Atakan Malgil from Turkey placed 3rd with 47 minutes 31 seconds.
The race, organised annually since 1989 by the Turkish Olympic Committee (TOC), featured 1765 swimmers from 34 countries and is the only swimming contest in the world which sees competitors swim from Asia to Europe.
The gruelling 6.5km race course begins in Kanlıca, on the Asian side of Istanbul, and ended in Kuruçeşme Cemil Topuzlu Park on the European side.
It is one of the best examples of sport’s unifying power. Participants experience a unique race and are then awarded the exclusive title of Cross-Continental Swimmer.
This year’s race took place without spectators due to the strict COVID-19 measures put in the place by the event organisers.
From start to finish, every stage of the race respected social distancing rules and other public health measures aimed at protecting the health and wellbeing of all those taking part in the event.
Participants also enjoyed the magnificent natural and cultural treasures of Istanbul, one of the top tourism destinations of the world, had the opportunity of tasting the unique dishes of Turkish cuisine visiting traditional and modern shopping centers during their stay.