Mete Gazoz shines in pre-season warm-up tournament: “I’m ready”

Mete Gazoz at the Spring Arrows tournament 2024

Olympic Champion Mete Gazoz took the recurve men’s gold medal on home turf at the 2024 Kahraman Bagatir Spring Arrows Tournament in Antalya, Türkiye, defending his title from 2023.

He beat Italy’s Federico Musolesi for the title with a 6-0 shutout, winning with ends of 30, 29 and 30, after dispatching Rio 2016 silver medallist Jean-Charles Valladont 7-1 in the semifinal.

“I am very good because this tournament in my home town,” Gazoz said. “I know this field in Türkiye and it’s windy. I ‘got it’ on the last day and in the gold medal match I just shot one nine.”

“We have an Olympic quota and we’re just training for the Olympic Games. I’m ready.”

The Spring Arrows is a familiar event on the calendar and attracts archery national teams from around the world, many of whom also use Antalya as a training base.

In an Olympic year, and with an Antalya 2024 Hyundai Archery World Cup – as well as the final world qualifier – at the same venue still to come on the calendar, the results deserve a little more attention. 

It’s the second year in a row that Gazoz has won this tournament. Last year, he beat current world number one Marcus D’Almeida, who is competing at the Pan American Championships and did not return to defend his title.

As a first competition we are happy with his recent form and this was the first milestone on the way to Paris,” said national coach Goktug Ergin, happy with Mete’s result.

“Last year we made some changes to Mete’s hooking and left pushing hand positions,” he explained. “But the real ‘upgrade’ has been in strength. This is the strongest he has ever been.”

“We will need some extra time for adapt to this power level, with the bow we’re just trying to add a little bit of flexibility.”

Türkiye has three men’s places booked for Paris – although currently, no women’s spots. Four archers are currently in the running for the three places: Mete, Berkim Tumer, Abdullah Yildirmis and Berkay Akkoyun. The final selection decisions will be made after the upcoming Shanghai 2024 Hyundai Archery World Cup.

It seems almost certain we will see Mete in Paris. A reminder: no archer has ever defended an individual Olympic title. Whisper it: could he be the first?

Recurve women's podium at the Spring Arrows tournament

There was more good news for the host nation in compound. Türkiye swept the podium in the individual women’s event, with gold going to Hazal Burun, silver to Begum Yuva and bronze to Ayse Bera Suzer.

Yagiz Sezgin, also of Türkiye, beat Slovakia’s Jozef Bosansky for the compound men’s title.

In the recurve women’s competition, Katharina Bauer beat compatriot Charline Schwarz for the gold, in the tricky conditions that marked the tournament.

“It was a good day for me,” said Bauer. “I was shooting in the arena in the morning in the team and the mixed team finals, so I was kind of used to the wind already and it helped me perform in my individual matches as well.”

“It motivates me a lot, everyone knows the field here in Antalya, it’s always really windy, it’s good to shoot many matches here. I hope to make the team for the World Cup in June and am looking forward to being here again.”

Germany also won the recurve women’s team event, while Italy beat Great Britain for the recurve men’s team title – as attention now turns to the first stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Shanghai in just two weeks time.

Photos courtesy Saygin Akinci.

Winners: 2024 Spring Arrows