Antalya host Turkey makes bronze medal matches in mixed team events
The host nation in Antalya expected much from its athletes ahead of two big competitions this year – the Hyundai World Archery Championships and European Games – and would have likely had sights set on a handful of podiums.
In the end, they’re guaranteed a slightly unexpected one, with the ninth-ranked Turkish compound men facing Denmark for team gold, and have shots at three more. Mete Gazoz is into the recurve men’s bronze medal match – as are both the recurve and compound mixed teams.
Gazoz and partner Yasemin Anagoz edged past India in a shoot-off before defeating a lacklustre Germany in the recurve mixed team quarterfinals. They didn’t have quite enough to get past an on-point Russian pairing but will face China for bronze.
“This is really good to be on the final stage in my home. It gives us a big advantage against opponents because we will be shooting in front of our spectators and on our field,” said Mete.
Yesim Bostan and teammate Muhammed Yetim took out Great Britain and Germany in the compound mixed team bracket but were pipped to the gold medal match by South Africa after a tiebreak. Bostan and Yetim will face bottom seeds Italy during compound finals on Saturday.
World number one Bostan was upbeat.
“I think everything was good. It was exciting for me and my teammate. I really wanted it to be the gold match, as it’s my birthday today, and I wanted a birthday gift… but not this time,” she said. Yesim turned 24 during Antalya.
“A medal match is a medal match, and we will fight for bronze. I think we are stronger than this. We can be better… next time. The world championships are the most important.”
Turkey has invested heavily into its archers over the last decade and much of the recent focus has been on Gazoz.
It was the culmination of many years of promise – and hard work – on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit since his debut in Shanghai in 2014.
That win in Berlin meant an automatic appearance on home turf at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Samsun last year, but he left the tournament empty-handed, losing his first match against Taylor Worth of Australia.
Now he returns to make another pair of arena appearances on home soil – this time in the city he regularly trains.
Seeded first over the ranking round and after slipping past teammate Samet Ak, Gazoz had little trouble in the next two rounds before coming unstuck against an on-fire Steve Wijler. Mete will shoot for bronze against Mauro Nespoli of Italy – the man he beat out for the top seed in Antalya.
It will be his first career match against Nespoli, the hugely experienced Italian and a veteran of dozens of finals fields. But Mete was characteristically unfazed.
“I never care about my opponents,” he said. “I never think about them.”
“It’s what I do that matters.”
The third stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup takes place on 20-26 May in Antalya, Turkey.