Paralympic heroes deliver gold for Turkey
Turkey sees its best performance in Paralympic history by winning nine medals in Rio.
Mutlu Demirtaştan - İSTANBUL (AA) – Turkey has delivered its best Paralympic performance ever by bringing home nine medals from the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Turkish athletes won three gold, one silver and five bronze medals in the Paralympic games which ended on Sunday.
Rio was Turkey’s sixth Paralympic outing. The country has won gold in three of these Games: 2004; 2008; and 2012.
One of Turkey’s Rio gold medalists was female weightlifter Nazmiye Muratlı who broke a world record by lifting 104 kilograms in the women's 41-kilogram powerlifting category.
Turkish athlete Abdullah Öztürk won gold in the table tennis men's singles Class 4. The Turkish international completed the group stage as leader after beating Israeli Shay Siada 3-0 and Chinese player Xingyuan Guo 3-1.
Öztürk went on to eliminate South Korean Ilsang Choi in the quarter finals and his French opponent Maxime Thomas by 3-2 in the semis.
The Turkish competitor eventually claimed the gold medal by winning again against China’s Xingyuan Guo 3-1 in the final.
Turkey’s women’s goalball team also took home gold, building on their performance as reigning European champions. This was Turkey's first team sport gold medal in Paralympic history. The team was group leader after winning games against Canada 12-4, China 7-2, Australia 12-2 and Ukraine 6-3.
The Turkish team eliminated Israel in the quarter finals 15-5 then beat the United States 11-1 in the semis and China 4-1 in the final. This was Turkey's third gold medal in Rio.
In the meantime, another Turkish table tennis player, 22-year-old Kubra Korkut, claimed silver in the women's singles Class 7 category.
She beat Egyptian opponent Faiza Mahmoud and Argentine Giselle Munoz 3-0, but eventually lost against Dutch player Kelly van Zon 3-0 in the gold medal match. Korkut previously lost the group match against van Zon 3-1.
Overall, Turkey won five bronze medals in judo, athletics, shooting and table tennis in Rio.
Judoka Mesme Taşbağ (women +70 kilograms) and Ecem Tasin (women -48 kilograms); athlete Semih Deniz (men's 1500 meters - T11); and shooter Aysegul Pehlivanlar (women's P2-10m Air Pistol - SH1) all took home bronze.
In table tennis, Ali Öztürk, Abdullah Öztürk and Nesim Turan won bronze for Turkey in the men's team - Class 4-5 category, beating China 2-1.
Turkey was ranked the 34th overall in the medals table.
China topped the rankings by winning 107 gold, 81 silver and 51 bronze medals.
Turkey has won 23 medals in its Paralympic outings so far having made its debut at the 1992 Barcelona Paralympics. However, the country had to wait until the 2004 Athens Paralympics for its first medal.
Turkey managed to claim 10 medals -- including a gold -- at the previous Paralympics held in London in 2012.
Having won nine medals in Rio, Turkey now has a total of 23 medals including six gold, six silver and 11 bronze over its Paralympic history.
*Can Erözden contributed to this report from Ankara.
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