Gazoz beats 2013 World Champion to Conquest Cup victory

Seventeen-year-old recurve archer Mete Gazoz beat 2013 World Archery Champion Lee Seungyun of Korea to gold in the final of the Conquest Cup, an invitational tournament held at the historical Okcular Vakfi archery club in Istanbul.

“It's a great feeling to win against one of the best archers in the world,” said Mete after the 7-1 win in the final. “Of course I was excited but during the match I just focused on my shooting routine and tried to do my best.”

Gazoz is rounding into one of the sport’s premier young stars himself. He was runner-up at the European Championships and made his Olympic debut in 2016.

“I was really happy to be in Rio because I’d worked hard for three years to get there, but during the Games I realised that the effort I’d put in wasn’t enough to win – and now I am sure I have to work much harder to be strong enough in 2020,” he said.

Demir Elmaagacli, another Turkish archer who also won the 2015 Archery World Cup Final in Mexico City, beat Russia’s Viktor Kalashnikov to take compound men’s gold.

The Conquest Cup is a prize-money event drawing some of the world’s best archers in compound, recurve and traditional categories. Now into its fifth year, the event attracted more than 300 archers from over 30 countries in 2017.

The competition is held at an archery ground in central Istanbul that dates back to the 15th century.

Sarah Sonnichsen took down world number one Sara Lopez in the compound women’s final.

Lopez has been unbeaten on the Hyundai Archery World Cup and World Archery Championship level in 28 matches – but her largest challenger on the world stage proved, in Istanbul, that she is beatable. Whether that translates to major international events remains to be seen.

Four-time Olympian Kristine Esebua, silver medallist at the worlds in 2011, defeated Britain’s Bryony Pitman in the recurve women’s gold medal match at the 2017 Conquest Cup.