Turkey's 1st gold medalist in men's rings aims for Olympic medal
by Anadolu Agency
ANKARADec 13, 2019 - 3:31 pm GMT+3
by Anadolu Agency
Dec 13, 2019 3:31 pm
İbrahim Çolak, a Turkish athlete who recently won the first-ever gold medal for his country in the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships this year, now aims to win a 2020 Summer Olympics medal in Tokyo. Çolak, 24, became the first Turkish athlete to win gold on men's rings with 14,933 points, finishing 0.033 points ahead of Italia's Marco Lodadio at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships this year. "I'm proud of earning a medal for my country. We try to raise our flag to the highest as the national athletes, and I am very happy to be able to do this, especially at the world championships," Çolak told Anadolu Agency (AA) in an exclusive interview.
Speaking about his next target, Çolak said he wants to earn a medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. "All athletes dream of winning a medal at the European, world and Olympic Games. I already clinched medals in European and world championships, and winning a medal in the 2020 Summer Olympics is my target," he said. Turkish athletes need sponsors to succeed The 24-year-old gymnast added he had no sponsor until this year's achievement and added that finances are crucial for maintaining a healthy and balanced life.
"My rivals have lots of sponsorship agreements, including food, drink, clothing and transportation, so they are more relaxed and can focus on their work as sponsors play a crucial role for gymnastics," he stressed. The success of Turkish athletes in gymnastics positively affects the sponsorships, Çolak added. 'Gymnastics help children stay flexible' When asked his opinion regarding young people's involvement in gymnastics, Çolak stressed that every family must introduce their children to the sport as early as possible. "Gymnastics is the basis of all sports that help children stay flexible, develop their muscles and promote motor skills. Each athlete needs to have these qualifications. A strong and flexible athlete has minimal risk of injuries." Gymnastics is not only a physical sport, he said, adding: "Even though gymnastics is a physical sport, it also has a mental dimension. A gymnast with a strong mind can direct his or her pace effectively."