Derya Buyukuncu Provisionally Qualifies for Record Sixth Olympics

IRVINE, California, May 27. AT the Speedo Grand Challenge this weekend, Turkey's Derya Buyukuncu charted a FINA B cut in the men's 200 backstroke to put himself in position to become the first swimmer to make six Olympic appearances.

Buyukuncu, who won the B final of the event with a 2:02.06, cleared the FINA B cut of 2:02.63. He returned in the men's 100 back with another B final victory in 56.14, which bettered the FINA B cut of 56.30.

Currently, Buyukuncu is just one of 13 swimmers to ever make five Olympic appearances: Derya Buyukuncu, Mark Foster, Lars Frolander, Joao Goncalves Filho, Mette Jacobsen, Martina Moravcova, Maria Pelaez, Carl Probert, Paul Radmilovic, Rogerio Romero, Alison Sheppard, Dara Torres and Nina Zhivanevskaya.

Buyukuncu will have to wait to find out if his provisional qualification time is called up under the athlete cap of qualifiers heading into the 2012 London Olympic Games.

“It's tough obviously as you get older,” Buyukuncu told the OC Register. “If it was easy, everyone would do it. … I love (the sport).”

Buyukuncu first represented Turkey at the Olympics in 1992 at the age of 16.

The record for most Olympic appearances by an athlete is nine with Austria's Hubert Raudaschl (sailing) and Canada's Ian Millar (equestrian) both accomplishing the feat.

Special thanks to Dan Albano of the OC Register for first reporting on this feat.