Jozef Bosansky undaunted by competition in Guatemala final four

Jozef Bosansky shoots during the first stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Guatemala City.

The least-experienced archer remaining in the compound men’s final four is also the oldest. 

Jozef Bosansky, 44, is the only semifinalist in Guatemala City without a Hyundai Archery World Cup trophy to his name as he prepares to shoot for gold on Saturday

Kris Schaff of the USA won the circuit title in 2018, while fellow countryman Braden Gellenthien took gold in 2012 and 2017. And then there is Mike Schloesser, Mister Perfect, the incumbent champion from the Netherlands who has won two Hyundai Archery World Cup Finals along with a bounty of other accomplishments in his (still quite young) career.

Bosansky, meanwhile, has only been competing internationally since 2017. The full-time mechanic from Slovakia received a two-week, fully-paid holiday from his job at a major car manufacturer to compete, and he was only able to attend this week’s tournament thanks to financial support from a friend.

Yet Bosansky is still in contention in Guatemala City, no less valid than the other three. He might have his work cut out for him on Saturday, but he’s not intimidated as he prepares to challenge a trio comprising some of the most accomplished archers on the scene.

“I’m competing against myself, so whoever I have next to me is just another person,” Bosansky said. “If he’s famous or not, for me it is irrelevant for the match. It’s outside the line where that person becomes important to me.”

Jozef Bolansky takes a break at the opening stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Guatemala City.

Bosansky’s name is becoming increasingly familiar. He won his first international gold medal at the second European Grand Prix of 2021 last month in Antalya, Turkey. 

His prior success, otherwise, has been defined largely by consistency. 

Back in 2019, Bosansky averaged just under 148 points a match on his way to finishing fifth in the Antalya leg of the international circuit, the best result of his career up to that point, and he leveraged multiple points finishes into a ranking invitational to the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final. Moscow would be his first arena appearance, having earned the right to the biggest stage by delivering reliable, top-eight results.

Perhaps due to his age and late entry into the sport, Bosansky said he’s less concerned with his final position at competitions than the process that gets him there. “I don’t think about being consistent or keeping my level that way,” he said. “I just think about enjoying the arrows, and the rest comes with it.”

Bosansky will need to be at his best when he faces Gellenthien, the world number one, in the semifinals on Saturday. While he professed not to have any specific aims as far as results are concerned, he did admit that competing against the likes of his fellow final four competitors helps legitimise his archery career back in Slovakia. 

With any luck, he will pick up another international medal before he returns to work next week.

“To win a world competition, that would be a dream,” Bosansky said. “I’m aware I don’t have much time. But I want to enjoy it as long as I’m around and grow as much as I can. For me, being next to the ‘big names’ in archery is a way to show people at home everything you can achieve.”

Final fours

Archers are listed in match order, with seed in brackets. The first two archers face each other in the first semifinal, the second two in the second semifinal.

Compound men