16-Yr-Old Kuzey Tuncelli Turns In 14:38 SCM 1500 Free, 7:41 800 Free In Turkey

2023 TURKISH SHORT COURSE CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • Wednesday, December 20th – Sunday, December 24th
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • SCM (25m)
  • Results

Multiple records have gone down in the past few days at the 2023 Turkish Short Course Championships. The event is open to both age groupers and elite top-tier performers, giving us a mix of both veterans and new blood this week in Istanbul.

Day 1 Highlights

The men’s 200m IM saw its national record bite the dust at the hands of Berke Saka. The 20-year-old Georgia Tech swimmer unleashed a personal best of 1:53.52 to clear the field by nearly 4 seconds en route to gold.

Splitting 25.29/28.04/32.26/27.93, Saka erased the previous Turkish standard of 1:54.26 he put on the books at last year’s edition of these championships.

Saka’s 1:53.52 performance now ranks him 8th in the world on the season.

2023-2024 SCM Men 200 IM

DuncanGBR
SCOTT
12/08
1:50.98
2Thomas
CECCON
ITA1:51.9011/10
3Alexey
SUDAREV
RUS1:52.1312/18
4Ilya
Borodin
RUS1:53.0911/20
4Alberto
RAZZETTI
ITA1:53.0912/08
6Noe
PONTI
SUI1:53.3911/19
7Danas
RAPSYS
LTU1:53.4912/08
8Berke
Saka
TUR1:53.5212/20
9Joe
LITCHFIELD
GBR1:53.5712/07
10Andreas
VAZAIOS
GRE1:53.6412/08
View Top 31»

The boys’ Turkish Record for 16-year-olds in the 1500m free was the next record to be overtaken on day one.

Phenom Kuzey Tuncelli stopped the clock at a brisk mark of 14:38.61 to get to the wall first in the only time in his age category under 15:05.

Tuncelli’s time easily overtook the previous age record of 14:49.70 Emir Albayrak established last year, hacking off 11 seconds.

Entering these championships, Tuncelli had never been under the 15:00 barrier, owning a previous PB of 15:00.98 from the 2022 Turkish Short Course Championships.

Tuncelli’s performance is par for the course for this young man’s successful 2023. he earned 1500m gold and 800m free bronze at this year’s European Junior Championships, followed by gold in both the 1500 and 800m at the World Junior Championships.

Additional day one winners included Emri Sakci notching 56.72 for 100m breast gold while Merve Tuncel took the girls’ 1500m free in 16:32.62. The overall open women’s winner was Deniz Ertan who clocked 15:56.69.

Sakci also served as lead-off on his squad’s national record-breaking men’s 4x100m free relay. He opened in 46.79 to help Fenerbahce Spor Kulubu ultimately clock 3:12.02 to slice .24 off of the previous Turkish standard.

Day 2 Highlights

Onur Oksuz hit a new age record for boys in the 400m IM. The 16-year-old produced a time of 4:14.79 as a new personal best, taking over the 4:16.29 that had been on the books for 5 years.

A men’s relay record also bit the dust, as the Fenerbahce Spor Kulubu squad notched 7:04.69 to win the 4x200m free event. Unlu Baturalp opened in 1:45.35, then Ern Kuru carried the momentum in 1:48.68. Ozan Kalafat hit 1:45.74 and Utku Kurtdere closed in 1;44.92 to grab the gold.

On the women’s side, Aleyna Ozkan clocked a time of 26.06 to take the 50m fly, falling just .11 outside her own national record put up this past August.

Day 3 Highlights

16-year-old Tuncer Erturk nabbed a new age record en route to earning silver in the men’s 200m fly.

Erturk touched in 1:57.72 as the runner-up behind winner Polat Turnali who registered 1:56.66 to top the podium. The previous age record stood at 1;58.04 from last year.

Tuncelli turned in another head-turning performance, as the 16-year-old clocked a time of 7:41.42 to win his age category’s 800m free. That erased the previous age mark of 7:43.67 Albayrak logged last year.

Tuncelli was 7:59.01 at the 2022 Turkish Short Course Championship, meaning the team hacked nearly 18 seconds off of that time to check with a new lifetime best performance.

Day 3 winners also included Sakci turning in a time of 25.85 to take the men’s 50m breast while Tuncel topped the women’s 800m free in 8:38.25.

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Former Big10
5 months ago

Turkey has had some amazing 18 and unders the last few years… still waiting for it on the senior stage

Marc P
Reply to  Former Big10
5 months ago

That’s exactly what I was going to say when reading the article lol.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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