Mete Gazoz takes first pole position at home training field in Turkey
Mete Gazoz overtook Mauro Nespoli in the last end of the 72-arrow 70-metre round to lead recurve men’s qualification at the third stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup with 687 out of a possible 720 points.
The venue for the ranking round and elimination matches in Antalya is a field at which Gazoz, and the rest of Turkey’s team, spend time training throughout the year.
“I’m not surprised to be first. This is my home, this is my field and my home. I know the conditions better than everyone else,” said Mete. “Of course, it feels good to be top and it’s the first time, but now I want to go to the finals and win gold at home, too.”
The 19-year-old archer shot the highest international competition score outside of the Olympic Games in April this year when he recorded 698 at the European Grand Prix in Bucharest.
He scored 672 at the second stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Shanghai and then 687 here in Antalya.
“It’s a good score to have two weeks before the world championships, it makes me more confident, but I believe at the worlds I can do better,“ said Gazoz.
Nespoli and third-seed Brady Ellison both scored 686 points, the former had 43 10s to the latter’s 40. Steve Wijler bounced back from a poor event in Shanghai to rank fourth with 684 points, a career best at international competition.
“Shanghai was really difficult for me. My mind wasn’t on the process but just on the end result, but you can’t get an end result without the process,” he said. “I’m really happy to be back here and to do it once again and better than ever.”
There was a 104th-place cut of 634 points for athletes in the category to progress to the matchplay stage of the competition. Twenty-five recurve men were eliminated after the ranking round.
With two archers securing a third-round bye – Steve and Sjef – the Netherlands’ recurve men seeded top in the team event, which cut to 24 nations. Belarus, Chile, Armenia and New Zealand were eliminated.
The third stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup takes place on 20-26 May in Antalya, Turkey.