Istanbul is anticipating another record year for its world-famous annual Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming Race as applications for the event, which is heralded by the National Olympic Committee of Turkey (NOCT) as a way to showcase the country as a sporting hub, have opened.
The 27th edition of the competition, which takes place on July 26, will see athletes participating in the 6.5-kilometres race from Asia to Europe in the Bosphorus strait, which connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara.
Last year's edition attracted a record 1,661 swimmers from around the world, including celebrity guests such as Dutch four-time Olympic champion swimmer Inge de Bruijn and Great Britain's Pippa Middleton, the younger sister of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
Home star Hasan Emre Musluoğlu secured victory in the race with a time of 41 minutes and 26 seconds.
"The Samsung Bosphorus Cross-Continental Swimming race is a truly unique event and one which attracts more and more athletes - of all ages and abilities - every year," said National Olympic Committee of Turkey President and International Olympic Committee Executive Board member Uğur Erdener.
"Last year we welcomed a record number of participants from all over the world, and this year we expect even more swimmers to compete against Istanbul's stunning backdrop."
Applications can be made here.
It comes as Istanbul is contemplating whether to launch another bid for the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024, after the city has bid unsuccessfully for five of the last Games, finishing runner-up in the 2020 contest to Tokyo.
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