Gazoz and Valencia on top in recurve qualifiers in Türkiye

Mete Gazoz

Mete Gazoz successfully defended his home field to seed top in the recurve men’s event on a sunny second day at the opening stage of the 2023 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Antalya, Türkiye.

The Olympic Champion, who earned bronze at the circuit’s final in Tlaxcala last year, edged out world record holder Brady Ellison by just a single point over the recurve men’s 72-arrow round, while Alejandra Valencia finished ahead of Elia Canales by four to finish top in the women’s qualifiers.

“I’m very happy,” said Gazoz. “I guess this season will be a good season. It’s a good start and I hope for a good end.”

He opened his afternoon with a perfect 60 and led from the front to post a score of 688 and qualify in pole for the third time in his career at a stage of the international tour.

“Brady and I, we finished the first half with the same points. Then he was in a one-point lead, then it was my turn, then Brady again, and finally me. This is fun and this is archery. It’s a good thing,” said Mete.

Gazoz finished just ahead of five-time Hyundai Archery World Cup Final Champion Ellison, shooting 688 points to Brady’s 687, who recovered from a slow start to produce a tremendous battle with Gazoz. The two comfortably finished ahead of third-placed Li Zhongyuan (679) and India’s Atanu Das (673).

Sanlida World Archery Ranking leader Marcus D’Almeida seeded 11th.

There was disappointment for world number five Florian Unruh and number six Nicholas D’Amour, as the pair could only muster 34th and 38th places, respectively.

Mete Gazoz shooting qualifications at Antalya 2023 Hyundai Archery World Cup.

Mexican archer Valencia enjoyed a more comfortable margin at the summit of the women’s qualifiers, earning a four-point cushion over Canales in the very last end, with China’s Zhang Mengyao ending the afternoon a further two points back in third.

“It’s our first international competition and I’m very happy,” said Valencia, who totalled 677 points. “On the way from Mexico to Türkiye, I was like, ‘you can do it, you have to try your best’.”  

“The wind was a bit tricky, but this kind of opening made me think I can do well, if just focus on my technique. I think we did it right and we need to keep it like that.”

Great Britain’s Bryony Pitman, who took gold in the recurve women’s event here in Antalya in 2022, will hope her fourth-placed qualification this time around will be the perfect platform to defend her title. 

World number one Katharina Bauer, the bronze medallist last year, seeded down in 21st, as An Qixuan, Tomomi Sugimoto and Satsuki Noda all finished on 662 to round off the top eight alongside Charline Schwarz.

Alejandra Valencia

The Chinese team is making its return to the international circuit for the first time since 2019 – and took two of three recurve team poles.

An Qixuan, Muyan Qiu and Zhang Mengyao took the top spot in the recurve women’s team event, with top individual qualifier Valencia firing Mexico into second ahead of Japan and world number ones Germany. 

Zhang and Li Zhongyuan led the recurve mixed team leaderboard, with USA duo Ellison and Casey Kaufhold two points behind in second, ahead of Spain and Gazoz’s Türkiye.

And the Chinese recurve men’s team landed second, behind hosts Türkiye, with world number two Italy in third ahead of India. 

Gazoz’s intimate knowledge of the breezy conditions at the permanent range at which he trains here in Antalya proved valuable – as the Olympic Champion led Ulas Tumer and Muhammed Yildirmis to pole.

“Tomorrow we will have team matches and I hope it will be a great day,” Mete concluded. “I know I can shoot good. I hope I’m going for gold.”

Competition continues on Thursday in Antalya with compound eliminations.

Top seeds: Recurve men

  1. Mete Gazoz, Türkiye – 688 (8 circuit ranking points)
  2. Brady Ellison, USA – 687 (7 points)
  3. Li Zhongyuan, PR China – 679 (6 points)
  4. Atanu Das, India – 673 (5 points)
  5. Dan Olaru, Moldova – 672 34 10s 7 Xs (5 points)
  6. Miguel Alvarino Garcia, Spain – 672 29 10s 7 Xs (3 points)
  7. Mauro Nespoli, Italy – 671 34 10s 9 Xs (2 points)
  8. Tang Chih-Chun, Chinese Taipei – 671 31 10s 12 Xs (2 points)

Top seeds: Recurve women

  1. Alejandra Valencia, Mexico – 677 (8 circuit ranking points)
  2. Elia Canales, Spain – 673 (7 points)
  3. Zhang Mengyao, PR China – 671 (6 points)
  4. Bryony Pitman, Great Britain – 663 (5 points)
  5. An Qixuan, PR China – 662 29 10s 13 Xs (4 points)
  6. Sugimoto Tomomi, Japan – 662 26 10s 7 Xs (4 points)
  7. Noda Satsuki, Japan – 662 26 10s 6 Xs (4 points)
  8. Charline Schwarz, Germany – 661 28 10s 11 Xs (1 point)
  9. Casey Kaufhold, USA – 661 23 10s 7 Xs (1 point)