Orhan Okulu wins record Elmalı Oil Wrestling title

ANADOLU AGENCY
ISTANBUL
Published

Turkish wrestler Orhan Okulu won Sunday the Başpehlivan (chief wrestler) title at the 666th Traditional Elmalı Oil Wrestling tournament in Antalya, Turkey.

Okulu beat Ismail Balaban in the final to become the Başpehlivan for the sixth time in a row, setting a new record at what is dubbed as the oldest oil wrestling tournament in Turkey.

The previous record holder was the legendary Turkish wrestler, Ahmet Taşçı, who won the title five times in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993. Elmalı, located about 70 kilometers from the seaside town of Kaş, hosts the oil wrestling tournament every year. More than 1,600 wrestlers including 78 chief wrestlers participated in the three-day event this year.

The festival dates back to the Ottoman era and is one of the world's oldest sporting events. Traditional oil wrestlers wear leather pants, rub olive oil on their bodies and try to tackle each other on a grass field.

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