Gazoz back in Yumenoshima Park one year on from Olympic win

Mete Gazoz shoots in Yumenoshima Park in August 2022.

Reigning Olympic Champion Mete Gazoz was back in the Japanese capital to celebrate the one-year anniversary of his historic win at Tokyo 2020.

He finished second at the first Shibuya Archery Classic over the weekend.

The Turkish world number three was the lone foreign competitor, although many of the Japanese national team were among the 148 recurve, compound and barebow archers to take part in the event at the Olympic legacy venue in Yumenoshima Park.

In a repeat of the semifinal of last summer’s Games, Gazoz beat Japan’s Takaharu Furukawa for his place in the final. (This year, the score was 6-4, last year it was 7-3.)

He ultimately lost a four-set final to Kuwae Yoshito.

The other winners at the event included Noda Satsuki, Takamune Ryo, Miho Nagano, Tatsuno Gorou and Kato Takako.

The inaugural event was organised by the Tokyo Archery Association with support from Shibuya and prizes supplied by major archery manufacturers. It is hoped the event will become an annual international fixture.

Mete Gazoz won Turkey’s first Olympic archery medal when he won gold at Tokyo 2020, beating big names in Brady Ellison, Takaharu Furukawa and Mauro Nespoli in three straight five-set matches on his route to the title.

Twelve months on, he published a long message of reflection on Instagram.

“When I was a little kid I had a dream, always to aim for the best. I often reminded myself that I had chosen a long and difficult road and that there would be ups and downs. Did I despair? Of course, but I had a goal,” it reads.

“I made a promise to myself and to the beautiful people of our country. In Tokyo, the gold medal would be mine. One year ago today!”

“I still feel the prize and happiness of representing our country at the top of the podium by keeping the promise I made to you and myself.”

Mete and Korea’s An San won the individual titles at the last Olympics, with Korea also taking three gold medals in the men’s team, women’s team and mixed team competitions.

Photos courtesy Phil Knall/Shibuya Archery.