I want to win it – Mete makes claim to home stage of Archery World Cup

Mention ‘archery’ – okçuluk – in Türkiye and the next words are, invariably, ‘Mete’ and ‘Gazoz’.

The reigning Olympic Champion found fame domestically when he won Tokyo 2020. Mete is in Antalya, alongside many of the best archers from around the world, for the season opener of the Hyundai Archery World Cup.

It is the eighth time the 23-year-old has appeared in this event.

He came close to the podium last season, finishing in fourth, during his Olympic victory lap. Back in 2019, he came third.

This season, he wants more.

“I hope I will win the gold. It’s important for me because I never won this stage, but this year I hope to win,” he said, in his typically confident manner. He won the preseason warm-up – the Spring Arrows – on this ground last month.

Sitting under the tent during practice at the World Cup stage, he looked relaxed.

“I shot so many arrows here, and I know this field well,” he explained. “I know the wind. I’m happy here.”

Mete Gazoz achieved his only medal in Antalya in 2019.

Since making his debut on the circuit in 2014, Mete has podiumed individually at stages three times, including collecting back-to-back gold medals in Berlin in 2018 and 2019. He’s finished also third at the last two Hyundai Archery World Cup Finals.

Currently ranked number seven in the world, Mete’s status makes him one to watch.

“Of course, I’m ready for this season,” said the local hero.

“I had a good opening. It started here with Spring Arrows and then Lilleshall. I got a gold medal and a bronze medal.”

The Grand Prix in Great Britain, which finished just a week ago, brought another podium performance.

“It was a very nice start for me, and I hope I will win both this stage and the world championships,” he added.

There’ll be plenty of home support for the Turkish team this weekend.

“Of course, I feel a little bit of pressure all the time, but not too much. It’s not my first home World Cup. I’m fine with that,” said Mete. “I hope I will win the gold.”

Qualifying for the recurve archers in Antalya takes place on Wednesday afternoon.