Superstar Mete Gazoz aiming for medal hat-trick in Paris

Mete Gazoz at European Championships 2024 in Essen.


Türkiye’s Mete Gazoz made history on Sunday afternoon, becoming the first archer to ever hold the Olympic Champion, World Archery Champion and European Champion titles at the same time.

He defeated Slovenia’s Den Habjan Malavasic in straight sets 6-0 in the recurve men’s individual gold medal match under the Zollverein Coal Mine UNESCO Heritage Site in Essen, Germany.

The 25-year-old has previously won the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the Berlin 2023 World Archery Championships. Nobody had ever held all three major titles simultaneously before.

Gazoz now also has a full set of individual European medals, after silver in 2016 and bronze in 2022.

“I am very happy about my first European title,” he said right after the win. “But this year the focus is on the Olympic Games.”

Gazoz is indeed aiming to win medals for his country in the men’s team event as well as repeat the individual feat at the Olympic Games in Paris this summer.

With fellow countrywoman Elif Berra Gokkir having added a women’s spot for Türkiye during the continental qualifier in Essen earlier last week, he can even dream of a hat-trick, with an additional mixed team podium at stake.

“We are preparing not only individually but also as a team for Paris,” said the Turkish archer. “We are excited about this separately.”

“We are working with great concentration as a team. Our goal in Paris is also to win a medal as a team, and we must work hard for that.”

Mete Gazoz aiming in Essen.

Gazoz’s star has risen considerably since his record-breaking campaign in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games becoming the first Turkish athlete to win an Olympic medal in archery.

Despite being one of the most talked about athletes heading into Paris and included in NBC’s ‘Olympics top 100 athletes to watch‘, the Tokyo gold medallist now wants to add an Olympic team medal to his already impressive collection.

Although the hopes of a nation are pinned onto him to repeat similar success to Tokyo in Paris, Gazoz remains unfazed by the pressure. 

If anything, the 24-year-old cannot wait until he reaches Les Invalides this summer with him able to perform in front of an Olympic crowd for the first time.

“I get very excited when I think about the announcements and the atmosphere there,” said Gazoz. “It will be an unforgettable experience for me.”

“The moment I feel most comfortable is when I'm taking my shots. That's my place. Pressure is good; it makes you feel special.”

“Of course, I feel some pressure, even if it's slight. But this pressure motivates me. It never affects me negatively. 

“Along with this pressure, I also feel confident.”

Mete Gazoz became World Archery Champion in Berlin 2023.

Since winning that historic gold medal, Gazoz has only grown stronger in the sport, winning bronze at the Yankton 2021 Hyundai World Archery Championships in the mixed team, silver at the Berlin 2023 Hyundai World Archery Championships in the men’s team and gold individually in the latter. 

The reigning Olympic and World Champion also revealed that he is still training in a similar programme to the one he did prior Tokyo.

No matter the level of competition, Gazoz believes every tournament offers different environments and is constantly learning new skills.

“I try to learn something from every competition. All of this has a positive impact on my development.”

“I'm working with a very good coaching staff here. Everything is scientific and structured.”

“Of course, there are methods we have changed, but generally, we are following a programme consistent with the culture we have created here.”

“Goals never end.”

It is not just the medals Gazoz has brought home to Türkiye but a huge surge in popularity for himself and archery.

Mete Gazoz with Yasemin Anagoz in the mixed team event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The Istanbul-born athlete is intent on creating a legacy in Türkiye that any young person from the country can be inspired by. 

“I meet people on the streets, and they say things like, ‘After seeing you, we started archery,’ or ‘We got our child into archery.’”

“Our main duty as athletes should be this: to inspire. Sport has a unique power,” Gazoz added.

“We need to set an example for society by using it in the best way possible. If even one child starts sports after seeing a success like mine, I consider myself successful.”

Mete’s recent success is part of a wider resurgence in Turkish archery with other talents from the country winning medals in international events. 

His Tokyo mixed team partner Yasemin Anagoz won silver in the women’s team event at the Munich 2022 European Championships and Yiğit Caner Aydın won gold in the W1 men’s individual at the Dubai 2022 World Archery Para Championships.

Türkiye recurve men won European team bronze in Essen.

Türkiye are currently heading into Paris with four archers - three men and one woman – but can still dream of upgrading their female spot to a team quota.

Gazoz puts it down to a strong foundation being set in the country by the Turkish archery federation that matches the country’s aspirations.

“Türkiye is one of the most ambitious countries in archery because our system is very strong,” the Olympic Champion explained.

“I believe that this culture will come to much better places in the future and that the successes will continue.”

“We also have very good athletes in our youth teams. This gives us hope for the future.”

“Bright times await Turkish archery.”

Gazoz and the rest of Türkiye will be hoping those ‘bright times’ come to fruition at Les Invalides this summer.