By Fatih Erel
ISTANBUL (AA) - Turkish athletes left their marks in 2019 with outstanding achievements in international competitions.
Several major Turkish sports achievements took place in various branches such as diving, swimming, archery, wrestling, gymnastics, running and motorsports.
A Turkish diver, Sahika Ercumen, became the first Turkish woman to dive without air tanks in Antarctica on Feb. 5.
The 34-year-old also set a world record in women's cave diving without fins on Oct. 28.
A European champion Paralympic swimmer, Sumeyye Boyaci, won silver medal in the Para Swimming World Championships in London on April 7.
She became the first Turkish Paralympic swimmer to win silver medal in the world swimming championships.
Separately Turkish male archer Mete Gazoz set records in two categories in an international tournament in April.
Gazoz broke world record in junior category and European record in senior category in the Romanian capital Bucharest on April 10.
At European Grand Prix, 19-year-old Gazoz scored 698 points to lead the recurve men’s qualification.
- Kayaalp becomes 1st Turkish wrestler to win four world championships
Turkish athlete Riza Kayaalp bagged a gold medal in the 2019 European Wrestling Championships in Romania on April 13.
The victory marked Kayaalp's ninth European title.
He became the first Turkish athlete to win nine European Wrestling Championships title.
Kayaalp also claimed a gold medal in the World Wrestling Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan on Sept. 17.
He made history in the Kazakh capital as the 29-year-old wrestler was the first Turkish athlete to win four world championships in Greco-Roman style.
- Yaman: First Turkish woman to win gold twice in taekwondo
Irem Yaman of Turkey, 24, won a gold medal in women's 62-kg at World Taekwondo Championships in Manchester on May 19.
Beating her Brazilian opponent Caroline Santos 21-7 in the final match, Yaman protected her title as the world champion she won in 2015 and became the first Turkish female athlete to win the gold medal twice in taekwondo.
Yaman was a world champion in Russia 2015.
- Razgatlioglu: First-ever Turkish winner in World Superbike
On Sept. 28, Toprak Razgatlioglu became the first-ever Turkish winner of the World Superbike Championship after stunning series leader Jonathan Rea by overtaking him in the final lap.
Razgatlioglu won the 800th World Superbike race after starting from 16th place on the grid, also making him the first Turkish rider to ever win a World Superbike race.
- Turkey earn maiden gold medal in Artistic Gymnastics World C'ships
On Oct. 12, Turkey won its first ever gold medal in Artistic Gymnastics World Championships held in Germany's Stuttgart.
Ibrahim Colak, 24, got 14,933 points to win the gold medal.
Colak finished the competition at first just 0.033 points ahead of Marco Lodadio from Italy.
The victory in Germany brought the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games ticket to him.
- Turkish weightlifter breaks European record twice
On Oct. 22, Turkish weightlifter Muhammet Furkan Ozbek won a gold medal in the 2019 European Junior & Under 23 Championships in Romania.
Ozbek earned the gold in the snatch in the men's 73-kilogram weight class by lifting 148 kilograms.
He broke the European record twice in the clean and jerk by lifting 181 and 329 kilograms, respectively.
- Turkish athlete becomes Euro marathon record holder
On Dec. 1, Turkish athlete Kaan Kigen Ozbilen broke Mo Farah’s European record in the Valencia Marathon on Dec. 1, finishing at 2:04:16 mark, nearly a minute better than Farah's 2:05:11.
Ozbilen finished the race in second place, trailing only to Ethiopian debutant Kinde Atanew, who won in a course record of 2:03:51.
- Turkey sees 1st gold in int'l down syndrome judo tournament
Turkish athlete Talha Ahmet Erdem won a gold medal in an international judo championship organized for sportspeople with down syndrome on Dec. 1.
Erdem has become the first Turkish athlete to have this honor.
- Turkish swimmer bags silver in Euro tournament
Turkey's Emre Sakci won silver medal at the European Short Course Swimming Championships 2019 in the U.K. on December 4.
Sakci finished men's 50-meter breaststroke in 25.82 seconds at the tournament in Glasgow, Scotland.
His record earned Sakci the title of first Turkish swimmer to earn a medal in the 50-meter breaststroke of the European Short Course Swimming Championships.