Turkish junior world record-holder Viktoriya Gunes will swim five events at the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku, Azerbaijan this week.
Gunes had a massive 2015, exploding onto the world scene by winning a Junior World Championships gold in the 200 breaststroke and swimming a 2:19.64 that was faster than the entire final heat at the senior World Championships that same year. She made an Olympic bid for Turkey last summer, but regressed in that 200, going just 2:23.49 and not making it out of the semifinals. She also competed in the semifinals of the 100 breast and 400 IM.
In Baku this week, she’ll look to stake out a spot near the top of the world rankings, swimming the 50, 100 and 200 breaststrokes along with the 200 and 400 IMs. She’s the top seed in all of those events except the 50 breast, where her 32.30 is three tenths behind top seed Gulsen Beste Samanci.
The Islamic Solidarity Games are somewhat sparse on the psych sheets, with a number of events not even able to fill out a full heat of entries. But there are a few notable names competing along with Gunes. Syria’s Azad al-Barazi, a regular on the American pro swim series, will be competing. Algerian Olympian Oussama Sahnoune and Turkish record-holder Doga Celik will clash in the sprint freestyles. Indonesia’s I Gede Sudartawa looks to be the man to beat in the backstrokes. Turkey’s Ekaterina Avramova should be in line to win all three backstrokes on the women’s side.
Full psych sheets and results will be available here.