A really lengthy record — this was the 661st Kirkpinar oil wrestling championship, going down in western Edirne province.
Within the competition, which is on Unesco’s Consultant Listing of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, wrestlers cowl themselves in olive oil, making it tougher for opponents to seize one another.
It took almost an hour of grappling along with his opponent underneath the blazing Turkish solar for Cengizhan Simsek to win the event and be part of an extended record of earlier victors.
The winner is the wrestler who makes his opponent’s again contact the bottom — or his “stomach face the sky”.
With the cheers of hundreds of spectators and the tunes of drums and zurna flutes ringing in his ears, 26-year-old Simsek, from the Mediterranean province of Antalya, was introduced with the golden belt by sports activities minister Mehmet Kasapoglu.
“God granted me this. I thank God. I put the belt round my neck and fulfilled my dream,” Simsek stated.
This 12 months, greater than 2,475 pehlivans – or wrestlers – registered for the occasion, the best quantity ever, in response to the official Anadolu information company.
There have been moments of pleasure, but in addition of stress. At one level, riot police had been referred to as in to safe the sector after wrestlers confronted judges underneath the scorching solar.
The competition reportedly began within the 1360s when legend says the second Ottoman sultan, Sultan Orhan, needed to maintain his troopers match and prepared for battle. However oil wrestling has been practiced throughout the area for hundreds of years.
The wrestlers are chosen amongst males who show ethical character and should be invited by the Kirkpinar grasp. The invitation is delivered by sending a red-based candle to the nominated pehlivans originally of March.
The wrestlers, sporting leather-based trousers referred to as “kispet”, are lined in oil poured from a copper jug earlier than the wrestling begins, and so they interact in a extremely ritualised procession to start their bout. Within the early levels of the event, dozens of wrestlers combat on a big grass area.
The winner earns the title of “Baspehlivan” – or head wrestler. Simsek was topped for the primary time after defeating a clutch of established favourites.