Young Turkish team takes recurve men’s gold at last stage of Archery World Cup

Mete Gazoz delivered the tiebreak 10 that beat Ukraine and secured recurve men’s team gold for Turkey at the fourth stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Berlin, Germany.

Gazoz, 20, was shooting with juniors Samet Ak and Ali Aydin, both aged 17.

“I’m so happy. This is my first senior medal. I’m honoured to be a part of this team. I’m really happy to shoot with these two young guys,” said Samet.

Choppy conditions made the final unpredictable. There were sevens from both teams in the first two sets.

The match was tied at three set points each heading into the fourth. Turkey put a 54 on the scoreboard and Ukraine a 53. But there was an arrow that needed checking on both sides.

Turkey’s shaft was called out, Ukraine’s in – and the match remained tied at the end of regulation.

Samet opened the shoot-off. He held a long time but delivered a 10, on the line, low and right. Oleksii Hunbin replied with a nine.

Ali looked confident at full draw but his arrow sprung high and right into the seven. Turkey was on the back foot – but only for a moment. Heorhiy Ivanytskyy’s shot landed in the eight.

Last year’s break-out archer of the year Mete Gazoz took to the line. He did his trademark full-body twist, calmly drew back and delivered an excellent 10 – just as he did to win individual gold at this stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in 2018.

Sergii Makarevych shot a nine – not enough – and the match was Turkey’s.

“It’s the most exciting thing to shoot an X in a tiebreak. I really love these situations,” said Mete.

Turkey won all four of its elimination matches in Berlin with shoot-offs. Mete, Samet and Ali beat Germany, Korea, the USA and now Ukraine – all in tiebreaks.

It showed incredible resilience from a squad that has had a disappointing season so far, not taking a single quota spot for the Olympic Games yet despite having a talented roster and excellent support staff.

There will be three recurve men’s team places for Tokyo 2020 available at the Berlin stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup next year. It’s the last chance to qualify.

“That was the main reason to come to this competition because of the importance of next year. We have good memories in Berlin and we will take these experiences into next year’s competition,” said Gazoz.

“This gold medal gives us huge confidence for next year and for our futures.”

World Archery Champion Brady Ellison, Matt Requa and Jack Williams beat Canada in the recurve men’s team bronze medal match.

The USA averaged 55.5 points per set. Canada only reached that mark once, shooting 56 to win the second. Ellison, Requa and Williams took it in four, 6-2.

The fourth stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup takes place on 1-7 July in Berlin, Germany.