Eighteen-year-old Kumsal Dinibütün and Eren İçer, who began their swimming journey under family guidance about six years ago, are now aiming for national glory in Türkiye’s swimming arena.

Training together in the butterfly, breaststroke and freestyle categories, Kumsal and Eren have clinched Turkish championships and are tirelessly working to add more accolades to their name.

At the Special Olympics Türkiye Swimming Championships held last month in Antalya, Kumsal secured three gold medals, while Eren earned two golds and one silver.

Committing three days a week to their pool sessions, Kumsal and Eren aspire to represent the Turkish Down syndrome swimming national team.

Their coach, Furkan Ünsal, specializing in coaching special athletes and those with physical disabilities, recounted how he guided Kumsal and Eren into swimming at the tender age of 6.

Ünsal emphasized that swimming has not only fostered socialization but also led to significant achievements for both athletes, who are now rigorously preparing for upcoming competitions to secure new medals.

In addition to pool training, Ünsal highlighted their land-based workouts, including exercises like push-ups and sit-ups, crucial for enhancing their swimming performance.

“We are aiming for the national team. We are putting in incredible effort towards this goal. Our focus is to make the best out of this journey and aim for national team selection. We hope to see Kumsal and Eren shine at future national team trials,” Ünsal said.

Eren İçer’s father, Ergün İçer, shared his pride in his son’s educational and athletic pursuits, particularly in swimming, which they initiated to support his physical development.

“He started swimming around the age of 8 or 9. We have achieved good results in both school sports and federation competitions. Our aim, within our means, is to make it to the national team,” İçer said.

Reflecting on Kumsal Dinibütün’s journey, her mother Ebru Dinibütün recalled how initially, her daughter was afraid of water but gradually overcame her fears with the coach’s guidance, eventually dreaming of wearing the national team jersey.

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