UCLA Commit Bocekler, Wisconsin Commit Aslan Set Turkish Records


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

The 2020 Turkish Short Course Championships kicked off today in Istanbul with day one’s session comprised of relays and distance events.

The participating swimmers wasted no time making their marks on the 5-day meet, starting with the Fenerbahçe Spor Kulübü squad in the women’s 4x50m freestyle relay. The combination of Selen Ozbilen (25.04), Sila Bilgi (24.71), Gizen Guvenc (25.34) and Sezin Eligul (24.91) collectively stopped the clock in a final time of 1:40.00. That sliced .38 off of the previous Turkish senior national record of 1:40.38 that the same swimming club put on the books last year.

UCLA-bound Beril Bocekler crushed a new lifetime best en route to topping the women’s 800m free podium. The 16-year-old multi-European Junior Championships medalist put up a winning effort here of 8:19.24, getting to the wall a fingernail ahead of runner-up Merve Tunce.

Tunce, just 15 years of age, roared to the wall just shy of the gold in 8:19.33, while 3rd place went to Deniz Ertan in another sub-8:20 result of 8:19.42.

As for Bocekler, her result this evening checks-in as a new Turkish national record, overtaking her own previous lifetime best of 8:22.12 from November 2019. She is set to join UCLA for the 2022/23 season.

Below are Bocekler’s splits for her new Turkish national record.

Bocekler holds Turkish national records in the 400 free, 800 free and 1500 free in both LCM and SCM. She placed fourth in the 1500 free, sixth in the 400 free and seventh in the 800 free at the 2019 World Junior Championships representing Turkey, and she’s won several Turkish national titles. In summer 2019, she also snagged silver medals in the 800 free and 1500 free at the European Junior Championships.

Finally, the men’s 1500m free also saw a record bit the dust, with 17-year-old Yigit Aslan getting it done in 14:44.03. Aslan topped the field by 8 seconds en route to knocking down the previous TUR national standard that’s been on the books for 5 years, 14:50.02.

Like Bocekler, Aslan is slated to enter the NCAA ranks, having committed to the Wisconsin Badgers for the 2021/22 season.

At the 2019 European Junior Championships last summer, Aslan finished 11th in the 800 and 15th in the mile. He then won the Turkish SC Nationals title in the 800 free a month later, following that up with an 18th place finish in the 800 at the 2019 World Junior Champs. In March, Aslan won the mile and touched second in the 800 at the 2020 Turkish Nationals.

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1 year ago

Turkey is the country to watch in swimming over the next decade. There is a tonne of investment going in to sport generally, but particularly swimming. Great facilities, increasingly great coaches, booming participation numbers etc. Really exciting times for Turkish swimming.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dee
1 year ago

Bocekler’s time converts to 9:30+ in 1000 yd free, which is smokin fast and would lead NCAA at this point. Dang!

Reply to  Austinpoolboy
1 year ago

3 Girls under 8:20 is extremely impressive.
All 3 have their times convert to a time faster than the FINA A cut in the 800 Free (8.33.36)

1 year ago

It will be great to see Aslan in Madison training under Posegay and Suguiyama- two renowned coaches, especially for their freestyle/distance specialties.

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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