2021 TURKISH JUNIOR MEET
- Thursday, April 22nd – Sunday, April 25th
- Edirne, Turkey
- LCM (50m)
16-year-old Merve Tuncel simply cannot be stopped in the women’s 800m freestyle when competing on her home turf.
Racing at the 2021 Turkish Junior Meet today, April 22nd, the teen fired off the fastest time of her career, topping the podium in a big mark of 8:26.06. That shaved well over a second off of her newly-minted national record of 8:27.38 she produced in February of this year. That swim overtook her own previous national record of 8:28.34, which she logged in December of 2020.
Tuncel scorched tonight’s field, leaving a very talented Beril Boecekler in the dust. Boecekler clocked 8:34.29 as runner-up, hitting the wall about 8 seconds after Tuncel.
Splits for Tuncel’s swim tonight registered as follows:
At just 16 years of age, Tuncel owns the 800m and 1500m freestyle Turkish national records in long course, as well as the 1500m freestyle short course record. In the latter event, Tuncel also owns the World Junior Record.
Her 8:26.06 outing here in Edirne now ranks the teen 10th in the world among the top performers of the season.
Tuncel is coached by Gjon Shyti, an Italian who previously had Luca Marin under his tutelage. Retired Marin represented Italy at 3 Olympics, with his highest individual finish being that of 5th place in the 400m IM at the 2008 edition in Beijing. He also earned two individual World Championships medals over the course of his career.
Shyti and Tuncel are stationed in Ankara, one of the 5 Turkish Olympic Preparation Centers.