With torrential rain bearing down, the conditions were less than ideal for the final of the 2023 Hyundai World Archery Championships in Berlin, but Mete Gazoz kept his cool to emerge victorious. He hit bullseye after bullseye to beat his opponent Canadian Eric Peters 6-4 to win the Recurve Men’s individual title.
Gazoz’s triumph at the 52nd World Archery Championships in Berlin follows his Olympic gold at the Tokyo Games in 2021, making him the first man since Darrell Pace in 1976 to simultaneously hold world and Olympic titles.
The Turkish archer, 24, had a tough journey to the final. He beat Brazilian Marcus D’Almeida, the current world number one, 7-3 in the semi-final.
On Friday, Gazoz helped Turkiye win silver in the recurve men’s team event, which also wins the Turkish team an extra quota place for the 2024 Paris Olympics. The three man team featuring Gazoz, Berkim Tümer and Abdullah Yıldırmış beat Japan 5-4 in the semi-final, but lost 6-2 to South Korea in the final.
Speaking after Sunday’s final, Gazoz said: “Today I feel like I am the best archer on the planet, and I will continue like this,” before adding, “I love Berlin but now I love it even more.”
“I won my first World Cup medal and my second World Cup stage in Berlin, and now my first World Championship medal. I hope the next World Championship is in Berlin!”
Remarking about the weather conditions, Gazoz said, “You have to use your brain and your whole body because it is windy, and then two minutes later it is raining, and then two minutes later it is sunny.”
Gazoz also talked about his semi-final bout against D’Almeida, which he described as “a really hard match”:
“In the semi-final against Marcus, it was a really hard match. I wanted to win the gold medal and of course so did Marcus because last world championships he won silver.”
All eyes will now turn to the Paris Olympic Games next year, where Gazoz will hope to retain his Olympic title and spearhead his fellow Turkish archers to more success.
All photos from the Men’s Individual Recurve, Day 8 at the 2023 Hyundai World Archery Championships in Berlin © World Archery.