Okcular Vakfi to host socially-distanced Conquest Cup with Turkish national team

Istanbul’s large archery facility, Okcular Vakfi, is set to host an adjusted version of its annual invitational event, the Conquest Cup, on 28-29 May.

First organised in 2013, the tournament marks a popular date in the calendar for traditional archers. Its accompanying competition for international recurve and compound athletes has recently grown in popularity and status.

It is broadcast on television and allows aspiring Turkish archers to shoot on a field against some of the world’s best. Previous winners include Sarah Sonnichsen, Takaharu Furukawa and Alexander Dambaev.

This year’s event will only feature archers from Turkey. Members of the national team – including Mete Gazoz, Yasemin Anagoz and Yesim Bostan – will be safely transported from their homes to Istanbul ahead of qualification on 28 May.

They will compete against archers who live close to the archery centre.

Numerous health checks have been put in place, including tests for COVID-19, strict access restrictions for non-essential personnel, and rearranged competition fields that will allow everyone on site to practise social distancing.

The event will be broadcast on Turkish national television network TRT.

World Archery president Prof Dr Ugur Erdener said: “The sports world is finding ways to adjust and adapt so that training and competition can safely resume as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Holding an important invitational event like the Conquest Cup in Turkey, while observing all the necessary restrictions to protect the health of athletes, officials and organisers, is the first positive and pragmatic step towards the safe return of archery competition on a wider basis.”

“My congratulations and thanks go to the Archers Foundation in Istanbul for tackling this challenge.”

Okcular Vakfi sport director Hasan Oz said: “We are very proud to provide these elite athletes with competition under these difficult circumstances.”

“Archery is a very flexible sport so we can host this high-level event while still maintaining the strict social distancing measures and health recommendations issued by our government.”