Turkey sweeps W1 events at Fazza para world ranking tournament

The W1 final at the Fazza para world ranking tournament in 2021.

Reigning World Archery Para Champion Bahattin Hekimoglu took the gold medal as Turkey swept the individual W1 podium and won the W1 mixed team event at this year’s Fazza world ranking tournament in Dubai.

The W1 classification in the discipline of para archery is for athletes with an impairment in the top and bottom halves of their bodies, torso and at least three limbs. The men’s and women’s categories were combined at this event due to limited entries.

Hekimoglu, the top qualifier, defeated three of his teammates on his route to gold. He dispatched Fatma Danabas by 26 in the quarterfinals; Nihat Turkmenoglu, 132-123, in the semifinals; and Yigit Caner Aydin by three points, 134-141, in the final.

Hekimoglu and Danabas shot 135 points to defeat their Russian opponents by four in the W1 mixed team final.

Silver medallist Aydin, 28, said the squad’s results bode well for the remaining Paralympic qualifiers.

“The team worked really hard and know what they want to achieve," he said. "Our focus is clear: We want to continue this momentum at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.” 

The W1 finalists at the Fazza para world ranking tournament in 2021.

Turkey can add a second W1 men’s quota place for the postponed Games at the final qualification tournament in the Czech Republic in June.

A Russian duo won the compound open mixed team final, 158-155, ahead of India – but Indian archers Pooja and Harvinder Singh beat Turkey in a shoot-off to claim the gold medal in the recurve open mixed team event. It’s a significant result for a country with limited para archery experience.

Pooja made the nation’s Paralympic archery debut at Rio 2016.

Harvinder, the reigning champion of the Para Asian Games, is on a mission to add to that Paralympian tally later this summer.

“The weather was perfect today, and we took advantage of that. Pooja and I have trained back home in similar weather,” he said. “We won the semifinals via shoot-off, and we became confident once we were in the final. The pressure was also less, as we knew that we would have a medal.”

This is Pooja’s first international medal.

Competition concludes on Friday in Dubai with the individual finals in the recurve open and compound open divisions.