Turkey will host the 13th European Youth Winter Olympic Festival. During this event, athletes will compete in nine different sports. Biathlon is one of those sports and Turkish national team is training for the upcoming organisation.

Turkish National Team’s coach Yuri Ivanov Mitev said that they have everything they need for biathlon in Erzurum. “We have a nice track, a shooting area and equipment for summer training. Turkey is making a progress in winter sports.”

Yuri Ivanov Mitev is a former Bulgarian biathlete and coach. He has been working in Turkey for six years and young athletes call him “Baba” which means dad in Turkish. Ivanov Mitev talked about the biathlon’s progress in Turkey and added: “Turkey met with this sport nine years ago but despite that we have really good athletes. Shooting is very important in biathlon and Turkish athletes are really good at that.”

 “Success will come”

Ivanov Mitov said that there have to be more organisations, for instance Turkish National Championships. “We only have the national team but we need clubs. This will help to improve biathlon in Turkey,” he added.

“With these additions, Turkey will get the good results. I arrived in Turkey six years ago and lots of things have changed since then. When biathlon was new in Turkey, three athletes were using the same gun. But now, we have really good equipment.”

“We have good athletes and we are in a good place”

Nihan Erdiler, national team’s coach, is one of the first Turkish biathletes. Erdiler said that she’s hopeful about the participating Turkish athletes. Erdiler also said that biathlon is in good place despite it’s new in Turkey.

“We have really good athletes and we are in a good place. We try to compete in every race. We are training through the year. There are lots of good countries in biathlon and we are really new. We do our best to compete with them. EYOF is taking place in Erzurum and it’s a good chance for us because we know the track. Erzurum has Turkey’s only biathlon track but it’s also good enough for the European standards. We usually work here.”

“It’s an honour to represent our country”

Turkish athlete Gülşah Aga has been competing in biathlon for two years and she’ll represent Turkey at EYOf 2017. Aga competed various international events and described biathlon for us: “It includes strength, fun and focus at the same time. It’s an honour to represent our country in biathlon.”

She also talked about that she competed athletes older than herself previously and added: “EYOF is once in a lifetime opportunity and it’s really important for us. This is the first time I will compete in my age class and I think I can prove myself. I want to win a medal at the EYOF 2017.”

Aga said that EYOF is taking place in Turkey and this is an advantage for them. “Our families and friends will support us and it’s important for us. That’s why I’m happy for EYOF will take place in Turkey.”

Aga also said that she feels disappointment because of biathlon’s unpopularity in Turkey: “Biathlon is not as popular as it’s in Europe but it’s getting better and with our achievements it will be better. We are luckier than our predecessors and our successors will be luckier than us. Thanks to our coaches we are getting better and better.” 




Turkish National Biathlon Team, which includes four girl and four boy athletes, is getting prepared for the upcoming event at Kandilli Skiing Center in Erzurum. Biathlete Gülşah Aga, national team coaches Nihan Erdiler and Yuri Ivanov Mitev talked about the process.