Estonian record holder and member of the ISL’s Energy Standard team Kregor Zirk has announced that he will be making the move to train with the Turkey-based Fenerbahce swim club. Zirk will be coached by Can Onsoy who runs the senior men’s training group at Fenerbahce. The move comes after the Energy Standard training group has had to hit pause on its operations elsewhere in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.
21-year-old Zirk has raced for Estonian at the two most recent World Swimming Championships. In 2017 he raced the 100 freestyle in which he tied for 51st with Namibia’s Xander Skinner with a 51.00. At 2019 World Zirk raced upped it to 4 events, racing the 200/400 free and the 100/200 butterfly. Zirk’s highest finish was in the 400 freestyle where he placed 19th with a 3:51.30 national record. Zirk finished 26th in the 200 freestyle (1:48.51), 23rd in the 100 butterfly (52.92), and 22nd in the 200 butterfly (1:58.04).
Zirk currently holds ten individual Estonian records along with a number of relay records.
Kregor Zirk Estonian Swimming Records
- 200 freestyle – 1:48.51 long course / 1:43.44 short course
- 400 freestyle – 3:51.30 long course / 3:42.12 short course
- 800 freestyle – 8:23.12 long course / 7:55.05 short course
- 100 butterfly – 52.83 long course / 50.64 short course
- 200 butterfly – 1:58.04 long course / 1:52.25 short course
Zirk was a member of Energy Standard when they won the first-ever International Swimming League titles back in 2019 and returned for season 2 in 2020. Zirk and his teammates raced their way to a second-place finish during season 2 behind the Cali Condors. At the 2020 finale, Zirk was 8th in the 100 fly (50.64), 7th in the 200 fly (1:52.25), 7th in the 200 free (1:43.44), 5th in the 4×100 freestyle relay, and 7th in the 4×100 medley.
The biggest name that Zirk will be joining at Fenerbahce is ISL 2020 breakout star Emre Sakci. Sakci was dominant in the sprint breakstrokes during the most recent ISL season, winning a number of 50 and 100 breaststrokes. Sakci made his way to the top of the world rankings in the short course 50 breaststroke this year with a 25.29 European record, just 0.04 off Cameron van der Burgh‘s world record. In the 100, Sakci was #3 in 2020 with a 55,83 behind Ilya Shynamovich‘s 55.34 world record and Adam Peaty‘s 55.41.
Also among those currently making up the Fenerbahce men’s training squad are Turkish record holders Baturalp Ünlü, Ümit Can Güreş, Metin Aydin, and Mert Kilavuz.
Kregor Zirk has made the switch after the Energy Standard core training squad was unable to return to their regular training location in Turkey due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Without the ability to train together, the elite training group has dispersed with many returning to their home country.
As of our update a few weeks ago, Pernille Blume and Florent Manaudou are in France, Georgia Davies is in Wales, Sarah Sjostrom is in Sweden, Chad le Clos is in South Africa, and 2020 addition to the squad Ian Finnerty is back in the USA.