27/03/2021   Antalya (TUR): Balkan Championships - Great results of Meryem Bekmez




The Balkan Walking Championships were held today on the beach of Antalya Konyaaltı with the participation of six countries.
Hosting them this year is Turkey.
Guest nations are Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia and Serbia with some difficulties for the Greece team.
Great favorite for team success is the host nation that presents itself with a high-profile team even if the most important athletes will compete outside the team rankings.
This is the list of the strong Turkish team divided by categories in which the athletes competing for the Balkan Championships are indicated in bold.
Senior women: Evin Demir, Ayşe Tekdal, Meryem Bekmez, Bedriye Tekin, Kader Dost, Ayşe Kılıç,
U20 women: Songül Koçer, Şükran Ayaz, Selin Tent,
U18 women: Elifnur Özbey, Ayşenur Buse Günaslan, Aylin Baran,
Senior men: Şahin Şenoduncu, Abdulselam Imek, Selman İlhan, Mustafa Özbek, Mert Atlı, Serkan Doğan,
U20 men: Serhat Güngör, Mazlum Demir, Mustafa Tekdal,
U18 men: Hayrettin Yıldız, Mehmet Güngör, Ayetullah Bağçe.
Romania is present with 24 athletes, Bulgaria with 10, Serbia with 3, Slovenia with 2, while 4 should be the athletes of Greece.
20km women
The twentieth edition of the Balkan Championship in Antalya was the scene of the main show of the protagonists of race walking in Turkey.
While Meryem Bekmez (TUR), who competed outside the standings, renewed her personal best, Ayşe Tekdal (TUR) became the Balkan champion and pocketed the Olympic ticket.
The individual victory then went to Meryem Bekmez who stopped the clock in 1:28:48. Last year (February 16), again in Antalya, Meryem was capable of 1:29:24 which has represented her personal best up to now as well as being the national record of Turkey. Today, on the same circuit she improved by 36 seconds, with a new national record that places her in 18th place in the seasonal world list, 1 second behind Mariia Sakharuk (UKR) who had won on March 6, again on this circuit, the open race of the National Championships of Turkey.
For the occasion Meryem Bekmez had competed 10km winning in 43:23 (also this new national record of Turkey).
Coming to the Balkan Championships, the victory went to Ayşe Tekdal who stopped the clock in 1:30:12, that is 48 seconds below the minimum participation of Tokyo 2020 which we remember being 1:31:00.
Ayşe Tekdal also gave a good scissor kick to her personal best which until this morning was 1:32:01 and had been obtained in Izmir (TUR) on 3.3.3019.

Second place to Panayota Tsinopoulou (GRE) in 1:32:33

Third place to Christina Papadopoulou (GRE) in 1:32:53

To note that Kyriaky Filtisakou (GRE) in 1:32:23 is arrived third overall.





20km men
Monopoly of Turkey in the first four positions of the 20km.
Victory to Sahin Senoduncu (TUR) in 1:24:20
Second place to Abdulselam Imuk (TUR) in 1:24:51
Third place in Selman Ilhan (TUR) in 1:25:37 who competed on an individual level
Fourth place to Mustafa Ozbek (TUR) in 1:27:20 who competed on an individual level
The third place of the Balkan Championships is by Ionut Plesu (ROM) in 1:31:26).
Other results


10km U20 men


1. Serhat Güngör, Türkiye – 42:06

2. Mazlum Demir, Türkiye – 43:13

3. Gabriel Milosi, Romanya – 54:46


10km U20 women


1. Songül Koçer, Türkiye – 50:18

2. Maria Lataretu, Romanya – 51:27

3. Şükran Ayaz, Türkiye – 52:35


10km U18 boys 


1. Hayrettin Yıldız, Türkiye – 43:43

2. Mehmet Güngör, Türkiye – 45:52

3. Darius Melenciuc, Romanya – 49:32


5km U18 girls


1. Elifnur Özbey, Türkiye – 24:01

2. Ayşenur Buse Günaslan, Türkiye – 25:18

3. Delia Ochiana, Romanya – 26:17