Gazoz taking last shot at world youth championship gold in Madrid

19 August 2019
Madrid, Spain
The Turkish archer made his international debut at the World Archery Youth Championships in Wuxi in 2013 when he was just 14 years old.

It’s easy to forget that Mete Gazoz is still a junior because, at 20 years of age, he’s ranked fifth in the world as a senior. It hasn’t stopped him travelling to Madrid for his last shot at a world youth title.

“It motivates me to get the gold here – and it doesn’t put any extra pressure on me,” he said.

This is Mete’s fourth World Archery Youth Championships. He’s yet to take an individual medal. Mete did finish second in the junior event at the last indoor championships, only losing to Ukranian archer Ivan Kozhokar in the final.

He’ll turn 21 in 2020. So he’s only a junior for four-and-a-half more months.

“I’m here to compete. Of course, I’d like to win a gold medal but I won’t say gold or nothing. I’ll try to do my best as these are the world championships,” he said.

It was only a month ago that Gazoz won his second stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup, taking gold in Berlin for a second consecutive year – and leading a young team to gold, too. (Ali Aydin and Samet Ak, who were his teammates there, are also in Madrid.)

Despite some incredible shooting at that event, Mete claims he can do better.

“It wasn’t the best shooting in my life. It was a good competition for me, indeed, but that’s it. Good but not the best,” he said.

The strong relationship between Mete and coach Goktug is well-documented. They’ve been together, one on the line and one behind, for over half a decade now. The trust the pair share runs deeper than ever.

“If we’re talking about my shooting form, about any corrections, it’s not my job. It’s my coach’s job,” said Mete.

“He tells me to do something differently, in another way, and I just follow that. I don’t think about my shooting form, I just compete.”

Gazoz shot a European-record 698 points for the 72-arrow 70-metre ranking round in April this year. He’s been in the latter stages of almost every competition in which he has competed – and he’s qualified for his second consecutive Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.

The archers next to him on the line in Madrid are younger than he’s now used to. But the competition is just as important.

“It’s hot. It’s very hot – but I’m happy,” said Mete. I expect a good competition from myself and my team.”

The 2019 World Archery Youth Championships takes place on 19-25 August in Madrid, Spain.