14-year old Turkish swimmer Demir Ozdemir has broken the oldest National Record on the books in his country.
The Kanaryam 1907 athlete swam 53.04 in the 100 long course meters freestyle last week in Myrtle, which is a new Turkish Record for 14-year old boys. That broke the prior record of 53.56 that was set by Ugur Taner in 1988 – 34 years ago. Taner represented Turkey at the 1992 Summer Olympics.
Taner would eventually establish sporting citizenship in the United States, after moving to Bellevue, Washington. He raced a leg of the 1994 World Championship winning 400 free relay for the Americans, and also owns 6 medals from the Pan Pacific Championships.
That includes an individual gold in the 200 fly from 1997, where he beat the likes of Tom Malchow and Scott Goodman in a new Meet Record.
He was a member of the US National Team from 1993 to 2000.
Ozdemir also broke the National Record for 14-year olds in the 50 backstroke at the same meet, swimming 27.76.
In total, Ozdemir now has 7 Turkish Age Records: three in long course and four in short course.
The country’s new oldest records both belong to Derya Buyukuncu, who swam 1:00.04 in the 100 back and 2:08.95 in the 200 back at just 13 years old in July of 1989. Those swims remain the boys’ records for 13-year olds in long course meters.
Ozdemir is part of a rapid rise of quality across Turkish swimming in the last 5 years. In 2021, Turkish Records were broken in 92 events (46 long course and 46 short course) across all age groups.