Türkiye is leading the medals tally with most golds, silvers and bronzes as other countries try to narrow its lead.
Türkiye continues to maintain its dominance in the fifth Islamic Solidarity Games, taking place in Konya, with 93 golds and an overall tally of 238 medals.
Swimming, athletics and weightlifting is where Turkish athletes, demonstrating their athleticism and strength, have dominated the tracks and pools, clinching 18, 13 and 11 golds respectively.
The closest challenger, Uzbekistan, lags far behind with 40 golds and 112 medals in total, closely followed by Iran with 37 gold and 113 in total.
Azerbaijan, which led the medals tally in the 2017 edition with 75 golds, has faced tough fights from other participants as it currently occupies the fourth spot with 20 golds — half of second-placed Uzbekistan — and an overall tally of 67.
In the Games so far, Central Asian countries have shown commendable grit and spirit. It also reflects in the charts, as four Central Asian countries feature prominently, in the top 10 as of now.
The situation, however, could change as the Games would continue for another two days.
Here are some of the latest shots from Konya:
While there are scenes of jubilation by victors, there have also been heartbreaks.
A Pakistani athlete, Shajar Abbas, created two domestic records in men’s 100m and 200m after he clocked 10.25 seconds and 20.68 seconds respectively, but only to be declared invalid due to a technical error detected on the fourth day of the event.
But, organisers say, detection of a technical error will not affect the standing of any athlete in the competition.
Out of 56 participating nations, only 14 haven’t been able to win a medal yet.
Historically, Türkiye, Azerbaijan, and Iran have shared the most medals, so for Uzbekistan to disrupt the status quo and climb up the ladder this year is a welcome development.
The real winner
While the competition is fierce, as evident from the energy and effort being put in by all athletes, it is the solidarity among the participating Muslim countries that’s a real winner.
Focus on solidarity is also something Turkish Youth and Sports Minister Mehmet Kasapoglu stressed on during the opening ceremony last week.
Writing in Daily Sabah, Kasapoglu said, “It is far from being just an organisation that gathers sports players together. If anything, the games are just an excuse to serve a greater purpose. The purpose is, as it is for everything we have done so far, unity among differences.”
The Games, that began on August 9 and set to run till August 18, are seeing in action at least 4,000 athletes from 56 Muslim countries competing in 24 different games.
This latest edition, like previous others, is organised by the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation (ISSF), which aims to “support the development of the athletes of the Islamic geography and to increase the culture of brotherhood and solidarity among the athletes”.
Since 2005, the Games have travelled from the deserts of Saudi Arabia to the banks of Musi River in Indonesia’s Palembang, to Baku in Azerbaijan, and now arriving to Türkiye’s Konya – the resting place of Mevlana Jalaladdin Rumi and the former capital of the Seljuk Empire.