Some 2,200 oil wrestlers participated in the tournament that kicked off on Friday at a stadium in the northwestern Turkish city of Edirne.

Ismail Balaban had narrowly missed out on the title in 2013.
Ismail Balaban had narrowly missed out on the title in 2013.

Ismail Balaban beat Orhan Okulu on Sunday in Turkey to be crowned the overall winner of the 656th annual oil wrestling championships or Kirkpinar, a traditional contest dating back to the 14th century.

Some 2,200 oil wrestlers participated in the tournament that kicked off on Friday at a stadium in the northwestern Turkish city of Edirne, near Turkey's border with Greece and Bulgaria.

Sixty wrestlers fought their way through qualifying rounds to compete on Sunday in the final.

Wrestlers get ready to compete in the annual Kirkpinar oil wrestling tournament at the Sarayici arena in Edirne, Turkey, July 14, 2017. (Reuters)
Wrestlers get ready to compete in the annual Kirkpinar oil wrestling tournament at the Sarayici arena in Edirne, Turkey, July 14, 2017. (Reuters)

Thirty-year-old Balaban, a farmer's son from the southern city of Antalya, was the overall winner of the tournament and claimed the prize money of around $14,000.

Organisers said a record number of wrestlers took part in the annual Kirkpinar tournament, in which participants don leather trousers and pour olive oil over their bodies before wrestling each other on a grassy field.

Kirkpinar is believed to be the oldest sporting event in the world with a 656-year history. (Anadolu Agency)
Kirkpinar is believed to be the oldest sporting event in the world with a 656-year history. (Anadolu Agency)
Source: TRTWorld and agencies