Gazoz and Devi among 2023 Athlete of the Year category winners
World Archery has revealed the winners of the six division categories in the 2023 Athlete of the Year awards.
Reigning Olympic and World Archery Champion Mete Gazoz (Türkiye) finished top of the public vote to collect the recurve men’s trophy, while Asian Para Games Champion Sheetal Devi (India) – the first female para athlete without arms to compete internationally – won the para women’s category to become the first archer from India to ever receive a World Archery Award.
Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion Sara Lopez (Colombia), double circuit stage winners Lim Sihyeon (Korea) and Jozef Bosansky (Slovakia), and Paralympian Guillaume Toucoullet (France) complete the division winners.
Technical official Kristina Reitmeier (Czech Republic) has been named judge of the year.
The last three awards – breakthrough of the year, coach of the year and overall athlete of the year – will be announced during the live broadcast of the 2024 Indoor Archery World Series Finals on 3 February from Las Vegas, USA.
The winners of the division categories were decided by a weighted public, institutional and press vote, which opened in mid-November and ran for one month. More than 750,000 votes were cast.
Although she won her record eighth Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion trophy in 2023, legendary Colombian archer Sara Lopez might be the biggest surprise from the first batch of results considering the emergence of the Indian compound women last season.
(Lopez has now won the compound women’s award seven of the nine times it has run.)
As well as Sheetal Devi becoming the first Indian archer to receive an end-of-year award, Jozef Bosansky becomes the first archer from Slovakia and the oldest able-bodied athlete, at 47, to pick up a trophy.
This is Mete Gazoz’s third recurve men’s trophy after 2018 and 2021, when he won the Olympics.
World Archery launched its annual awards in 2011, began recognising division winners in 2014 and reintroduced the overall title in 2022.