In his prime: Award-winner Bosansky producing aged 47

Jozef Bosansky shoots during the fourth stage of the 2023 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Paris.

At the age of 47, Jozef Bosansky has become the oldest able-bodied archer to collect a trophy in World Archery’s annual awards, winning the compound men’s category in 2023.

He heard when Slovenian international Stas Modic called to let him know the news.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling. I am very happy,” said Bosansky. “I just wanted to bring fun and emotion to this wonderful sport… and apparently the public enjoys it!”

A two-time stage winner on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit last season and the second-ever compound man to collect gold at the European Games, Jozef has quickly become a favourite – not only performing at an elite level but doing so as a late starter in the sport.

He only picked up a bow at 38.

“This year, I did what I wanted to do. Show people that you can shoot well in archery even at an older age,” he said. “The important thing is to give it your all, and work hard on yourself.”

Bosansky beat out fellow nominees Pravin Deotale, Mathias Fullerton, Prathamesh Jawkar and incumbent Mike Schloesser to the compound man of the year award.

In just six years on the world stage, Bosansky has produced three appearances at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final, with the first major result of his career coming when he won the season opener in Antalya at the start of 2023.

He finished the year in a career-high second in the Sanlida World Archery Rankings.

And he’s done it with an uncharacteristically expressive persona in the arena, new for a sport in which calm and control normally seize the day.

“I just went to enjoy, to have fun, to be me. Make fun of everything… joking,” he said after his first circuit stage victory. “I think you could see that I enjoyed it, and shooting well was just a bonus.”

He might be a comedian, but Bosansky’s results are no joke.

“After years of hard work, I started to live my archery dream [in 2023]. I became a professional athlete, thanks to sponsors who believe in me, and I am eternally grateful,” he said.

Bosansky is 47. Age is just a number.