2014 was a successful year for Turkish sport

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published
2014 was a successful year for Turkish sport

Turkish football fans did not have much to celebrate in 2014. Turkey's national football team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals. And Turkish teams performed poorly in the European cups. However, Turkish sportsmen and sportswomen achieved important successes in other sports. Galatasaray Odeabank became the first Turkish female basketball team to win a European title. Turkish wrestler Taha Akgül was named as the world's best in the 125-kilogram freestyle category. İpek Soylu, who claimed the title in the Junior Women's Doubled Final at the U.S. Open, brought the first Grand Slam championship trophy to Turkey. Turkish diver Şahika Ercümen broke a new world free diving record in the variable weight without fins discipline category.

Fenerbahçe won their 19th Turkish Super League title. Their archrival Galatasaray won Turkey's Ziraat Cup.

Galatasaray Odeabank became the first Turkish female basketball team to win a European title, after a big victory over archrival Fenerbahçe on April 13. The Lions roared to a 69-58 victory over Fenerbahçe in a game played in Ekaterinburg, Russia, to claim the Euroleague Women title in a historic match for Turkish basketball.

Turkey made history at 2014 FIBA World Championship for women. The senior women's national team made its debut at the FIBA World Championship and finished in fourth place, its best ever result.

Fenerbahçe Ülker won the Turkish Men's Basketball League title for the first time since 2011.

Fenerbahçe Grundig won the second leg of the 2014 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup-Men's final to triumph with a historic first continental trophy.

United World Wrestling (UWW), the international governing body for the sport, on Oct. 27 named Turkish wrestler Taha Akgül as the world's best in the 125-kilogram freestyle category. The 24-year-old wrestler won a gold medal in the world championship held in Uzbekistan in September. In April, he had become a three-time European champion in Vantaa, Finland.

Turkey's national Greco-Roman team completed the 2014 World Wrestling Championships in third place in Uzbekistan's capital city of Tashkent. Rıza Kayaalp and Yunus Özel won silver medals in the Greco-Roman style in the 130-kilogram and 71-kilogram divisions, respectively, on Sunday. Selcuk Çebi and Cenk İldem received bronze medals in the 80-kilogram and 98-kilogram divisions.

Elif Jale Yeşilırmak became the first ever women's wrestler to represent Turkey at the Olympics. She also became the first Turkish female wrestler to win a bronze medal in the World Wrestling Championship.

Turkish athlete Emine Hatun Tuna, from Fenerbahçe, won the gold medal in the women's 3,000 meters at the European Cross Country Championships held in Samokov, Bulgaria.

Turkish tennis has broken new ground. İpek Soylu, who claimed the title in the Junior Women's Doubles Final at the U.S. Open, brought the first Grand Slam championship trophy to Turkey.

Hafid Chani and Amane Gobena took the honors at the 2014 Vodafone Istanbul Marathon, winning the IAAF Gold Label Road Race in 2:11:53 and 2:28:46, respectively, in November.

European Champion in Male Kumite 84+ kilogram, Enes Erkan of Turkey won in the poll for best male fighter at the EuroKarate2014, while his colleague from the Turkish national team, became the European Champion in Female Kumite - 50 kilogram - Serap Özçelik won in the poll for the best female fighter of the 49th European Championship.

Turkish sportsman Servet Tazegül won the gold medal and became the European champion in taekwondo in the men's 68- kilogram-class during the championship that took place in Azerbaijan's capital Baku in May.

Turkish diver Şahika Ercümen broke a new world free diving record in the variable weight without fins discipline on July 23, off the coast of the Mediterranean resort town of Kaş in July. Ercümen performed a 91-meter dive in 2:49 minutes, taking the record from another Turkish diver, Derya Can, who broke it last year.

Ayşegül Çoban won two gold medals, while Nurcan Taylan clinched one silver medal and one bronze medal in the 2014 World Weightlifting Championships held in Kazakhstan.

Fenerbahçe posted sweeping victories in the 2014-15 Women's Table Tennis European Champions League. They lost against Berlin Eastside in the final game.

Brooks Koepka held off a spirited challenge from Ian Poulter to win the Turkish Airlines Open, put on by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Koepka claimed his first European Tour title in Antalya, a result that ensured Rory McIlroy won The Race to Dubai for the second time in three years.

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