Skip to content
Home News Turkey enters to the World of Biathlon

Turkey enters to the World of Biathlon

31 January 2015

Orhangazi Civil (on the left) and a part of the turkish team in Erzurum

OSRBLIE – This year, Turkey has sent four representatives to the Winter Universiade in Osrblie. Three of these four athletes were already present in 2011 in Erzurum, i.e. Ahmet Ustuntas, Nihan Erdiler and Orhangazi Civil.

A native of Ankara, Orhangazi is currently in his final year at the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport of Gazi University. He started biathlon in 2008 and is now part of the Turkish national biathlon team. In Turkey, the most popular sports are football, wrestling and basketball, far ahead of the winter sports. “Before the Universiade in Erzurum, biathlon was a little known sport hardly practiced in Turkey. The Universiade put biathlon in the picture and boosted its development, which saw to it that the sport is now practiced by a growing number of people. With the national team, we train regularly at the beautiful Erzurum biathlon venue that has a shooting range of very good quality.”

Unfortunately, biathlon does not yet receive big media coverage in Turkey. To watch a biathlon competition, you need to watch Eurosport, as Turkish national channels do not give much importance to biathlon. “Regarding winter sports, Turkish people know downhill skiing. Biathlon however, is fairly new to our country. There is a big gap with the traditional biathlon countries, but I am sure that within a decade, through hard work, we will get closer to these nations”, Orhangazi continued.

On a personal level, Orhangazi regularly participates in the IBU Cup and will be present in qualifying for the World Championships to be held in March 2015 in Kontiolahti (Finland). Unfortunately he can’t participate in the Winter Olympics since Turkey does not have enough points to send athletes there.
“The level of the Universiade has greatly improved in recent years. We are faced with high level athletes. It is always a pleasure to participate in the Universiade because we are beautiful encounters and friendships in a sporting atmosphere, which is essential for me. The Universiade helps bring people together, that’s why I plan to participate in the 2017 Winter Universiade in Almaty”, the Turkish biathlete concludes.

David Vandenplas, Media Assistant