Cypriot sailor Panagiotis Iordanou could win the international fair play award after he gave his boat to a Turkish athlete whose boat was damaged during a race they were both competing in, in Greece, last week.
Alican Kaynar’s mast broke during the 5th race of the Winter Series 2018 prompting Iordanou to step in and offer his boat to the Turkish sailor who was still in competition for one of the three medals.
Kaynar sailed in the Cypriot’s boat in the 6th race and eventually went on to win bronze.
“I didn’t think he is a Turk I’m a Cypriot and of the political issues,” Iordanou told Greece’s Ant1 television. “I thought I’m an athlete he is an athlete he needs my help, and I gave it to him.”
Iordanou said they had just finished the 5th race and were preparing for the 6th, the last of the day, when he noticed Kaynar having problems with his mast and being puzzled.
“He was still in the race for the medals and he wouldn’t be able to continue,” he told the Athens News Agency. “I thought, since I’m a little behind, I’ll give him my boat so that he can claim the medal.”
Iordanou said he wasn’t thinking of the problems between their countries.
“When I am at sea I don’t think of other things. He is my friend, I probably don’t have such good Cypriot friends,” Iordanou said.
The Turkish sailor said he was taken aback by Iordanou’s move.
“It was a nice move, which I didn’t expect,” he said. “I managed to take part and with the points I collected I won the medal. This move should be an example for young kids,” Kaynar said.
The Greek sailing federation honoured the Cypriot sailor for his action and plans to propose to the international fair play committee to do the same.