EDIRNE, Turkey (Reuters) – Some 2,200 oil wrestlers began fighting bouts during a track in a northwestern Turkish city of Edirne on Friday, competing to win a golden belt in a competition dating behind to a 14th Century.
Organizers pronounced a record series of wrestlers were holding partial in a annual Kirkpinar tournament, in that participants enclose leather trousers and flow olive oil over their bodies before competing in a grassy field.
Among those severe for a golden belt and a winner’s esteem of 50,000 lira ($14,000) was Umit Kinali, 32, a bodyguard from Bodrum in southwest Turkey.
“My grandfather was an oil wrestler and we wish to continue a family tradition,” pronounced Kinali. “Wrestling is fun,” he added, before competing in a bout.
Sixty wrestlers will quarrel their approach by subordinate to competition on Sunday in a final of a 656th book of a annual competition in Edirne, nearby a limit with Greece and Bulgaria.
The stands in a 25,000-seated Sarayici track were frugally filled on Friday, though were approaching to be full on a final day of a competition that a festival’s central website (www.edirnekirkpinar.com) describes as a world’s longest invariably hold sporting event, launched in 1357.
Reporting by Murad Sezer; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Christian Radnedge