Inaugural Two Nations Cup bond Greece and Turkey
Rowing is helping to strengthen ties between Greece and Turkey with the first ever Two Nations Cup. The event, held last weekend in Istanbul, Turkey, featured a head-to-head race between the Greek and Turkish men’s eight.
The venue was the Golden Horn, an inlet on the Bosphorus. The start line was at the Galata Bridge where crowds of spectators were able to see the beginning of the 3061m race.
The event has been established to help strengthen ties between the two nations outside the realm of politics. Gursel Sen of the Turkish Rowing Federation described the event: “It brought together Turkish and Greek athletes at club and national team level. It will serve to strengthen the bonds between the two countries.”
In the future, the plan is to include a range of sporting codes in the Two Nations Cup and this year, besides rowing, there was also competition in basketball earlier in the month.
Greece won the event with an eight full of successful national team members. The crew included the 2011 European Champions from the pair and most of the European Champion four. They were Ioannis Christou, Ioannis Tsilis, Georgios Tziallas, Apostolos Gountoulas, Nikolaos Gountoulas, Konstantinos Christomanos, Alexandros Louloudis, Dionysios Angelopoulos and Alexandros Chaitidis (coxswain).
The Greeks gained a steady lead after a relatively slow start and as they went through the 1500m mark they had a solid lead which they then maintained. The Greeks reached the finish line at Balat Park in a time of 7:57.39. The Turkish boat came through just under four seconds later. The Turkish crew was made up of Onur Arabac?, Muhammet Can?i, Selahattin Gürsoy, Ogeday Giri?ken, Onat Kazakl?, Zafer Gündo?du, Orhan Tahtac?, Ercan Kesim and Hasan Tayfun (coxswain).
The Greek crew received the Two Nations trophy, a large ‘II’, from the Mayor of Fatih Municipality, Mustafa Demir.
“This will continue for years and will be the first step of an important tradition which may enter the world sports calendar,” says Sen.