Gizem Guvenc Becomes First Turkish Woman under 2 Minutes in 200 Free

2019 Turkish Swimming Championships

  • December 24th-26th, 2019
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • 50m (LCM) pool
  • Full Results

15 National Records across all age groups, including 4 all-ages national records, were broken last week at the 2019 Turkish Swimming Championships. This is part of a December record-breaking onslaught that saw 23 open-age National Records broken in the month of December for Turkish swimmers.

Last week’s open records in long course included 3 by Turkish men and 1 by a Turkish woman. In the men’s 200 free, Baturalp Unlu won in 1:48.77, which broke the old National Record of 1:49.15 that was set at the 2016 Olympic Games by Doga Celik. That improves the 17-year old Unlu’s previous best time of 1:49.29 that was done at last summer’s World Junior Championships.

He also won the 400 free (3:53.45) at the championships, which is a new Turkish 17-18 record. That 400 free time cuts a full second off his previous lifetime best.

American-based Umitcan Gures, a sophomore member of the Harvard men’s swim team, took out the National record in the men’s 100 fly. After swimming only prelims of the 50 free (23.26), Gures became hyper-focused on the 100 fly. That began with a time trial on day 1 of the meet, where he swam a 51.97 to break the old Turkish National Record of 52.20 that was set in 2017 by Turker Kaan Ayar.

He skipped the 50 fly on day 2, where he’s already the Turkish Record holder, in favor of another 100 fly time trials. This time, he swam only 52.22.

Then in the individual 100 fly event, he cruised to a 58.16 in prelims before going full bore one last time in the B final, but came up .01 seconds shy of his time trial swim with a 51.98. His goal was the Olympic Trials “A” qualifying time, which stands at 51.96. His record-setting swim ties him for 7th in the world so far this season.

A 3rd National Record on the men’s side came from Berkay Ogretir, who swam 2:10.64 in the 200 breaststroke. After cruising through prelims, he broke his own Turkish Record of 2:11.09 that was set in May of this year. He too would later time-trial that race, the only stroke and distance he swam at the meet, to chase the last half-second for a Turkish Record, but he landed short there in 2:10.89.

Gizem Guvenc added a women’s National Record to the Turkish tally as well, swimming a 1:58.61 in the 200 free on the meet’s final day. That makes her the first-ever Turkish woman under 2 minutes in the race, and she knocked over 2 seconds off the old National Record of 2:00.62 that was set earlier this year by 16-year old Beril Bocekler. Guvenc’s swim will also count as the 17-18 National Record, as Turkey’s two best swimmers nationally in this race are still juniors. She now ranks 12th in the world this season.

She also won the 100 free, with a best of 55.74 in the preliminary round. Guvenc is committed to race at UCLA in the United States beginning in the fall of 2021.

Age Group National Records:

  • Atakan Malgil tied the Turkish Record for 14s with a 4:38.21 in the men’s 400 IM. He won 5 events at the Turkish SCM Championships a week earlier.
  • Merve Tuncel broke the Turkish National Record for 14-year olds in the women’s 400 free, swimming a 4:12.74 for 2nd place. She was .01 seconds behind Beril Bocekler, the overall National Record holder (and aforementioned former National Record holder in the 200 free). She later also broke a National Age Group Record in the 1500 free, placing 2nd to Bocekler again in 16:36.20.
  • Defne Tacyildiz broke the 17-18 National Record in the 200 fly with a 2:11.58 to win the National Championship. She represented the country at the World Junior Championships earlier this summer.
  • Mert Kilavuz broke the 15-16 Turkish Age Record in the men’s 800 free in 8:00.06 (also better than the 17-18 record). Also in that race, Bora Uzunkaya broke the 14-year olds record with an 8:23.07. Uzunkaya would later break the Turkish Age Record in the 1500 as well, swimming 15:57.12, while Kilavuz took out the 15-16 Turkish Record in the 1500 in 15:20.64.
  • Mert Ali Satir won the men’s 50 backstroke in 26.06, which breaks the Turkish Record for 17-18s that he set in May in 26.24.


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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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