Turkey’s Olympic Bid strengthened by qualification of women’s basketball team
Istanbul; 02 July 2012: Istanbul’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games has been strengthened with the news that Turkey’s women’s basketball team has qualified for London 2012 meaning that, for the first time ever, there will be more Turkish female athletes than male athletes at the Olympic Games – highlighting the pre-eminence of women throughout Turkish sport
Qualification was secured on home soil this weekend, with a 72-58 win over Argentina in the quarterfinal of the 2012 FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament for women in Ankara.
Turkey will now send 105 athletes to London 2012, 59 women and 46 men. The result for the women’s basketball team is part of a run of recent successes for female Turkish athletes; last month the women’s volleyball team also qualified for the Olympic Games for the first time and on Saturday the same team won bronze at the World Grand Prix.
This growing strength of women’s active participation in Turkey’s sport movement will form a core part of Istanbul’s bid over the coming months, as Turkey seeks to become the first predominantly Muslim nation to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Hasan Arat, the Istanbul 2020 bid leader, spoke of the transformational power that Olympic and Paralympic values are already having throughout Turkey:“Olympic fever is gripping Turkey! As a former Basketball player myself and still actively involved in the sport in Turkey, I am so proud of our women’s basketball athletes. They will join a large team of Turkish female athletes in London 2012 which will help Istanbul 2020 to demonstrate to the Olympic Movement the growing importance of women in Turkish Sport.”
“The extraordinary success of our female athletes also shows the incredible strides that Turkey has taken in international sports performance. As leader of the bid aiming to bring the Games to Turkey for the first time ever, I am sure that we will draw inspiration from this progress.”
Professor Uğur Erdener, International Olympic Committee (IOC) member and head of the NOC of Turkey said:“The Turkish NOC holds gender equality and inclusivity as foundational beliefs in our sport and throughout everything we do. Istanbul’s bid to host the 2020 Games is built on these values and we want them to shine through to the IOC.”
Neslihan Darnel, Istanbul 2020 ambassador, key member of the Turkish women’s volleyball team and fresh from winning her bronze medal at the World Grand Prix, commented on the growing significance of women in Turkish sport:“I offer my congratulations to the women’s basketball team – I can’t wait to join them in London. Results like this will inspire even more women in Turkey to participate in sport and further unite our nation behind the Bid for the 2020 Games”.
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Notes to Editors:
For more information, please contact the Istanbul 2020 media team:email@example.comAlternatively, find us online at www.istanbul2020.com.tr
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