Olympics-Archery-Success is in a smile for Turkey's golden Gazoz


  • Archery
  • Monday, 02 Aug 2021

Jul 31, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Mete Gazoz of Turkey celebrates after clinching the gold medal against Mauro Nespoli of Italy (not pictured) in men's individual during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Yumenoshima Archery Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

TOKYO (Reuters) - Turkey's newest Olympic gold medallist Mete Gazoz has a weapon even more deadly than his archer's bow - a beaming smile.

The 22-year-old claimed Turkey's first gold at these Tokyo Games last weekend by winning the individual men's title, before revealing his unusual superpower.

"Imagine you're in the Olympic final, drawing your bow and some dude behind you is grinning from ear to ear. I owe 80% of this medal to the smile," he told Reuters, a large gold medal around his slender neck.

Gazoz's gold was a Turkish first in archery, a sport where fierce concentration is the watchword and South Koreans usually monopolise the titles.

"At this level, there is virtually no difference between archers in terms of technical abilities," he explained. "It all comes down to mental durability and superiority.

"All athletes employ different tactics. Some like to shout, some like to wait until the end of the allowed time and keep their rival on the edge.

"Mine is being happy, showing how comfortable I am."

On Saturday, Gazoz faced Italy's former team Olympic champion Mauro Nespoli in the final, unleashing his secret weapon to triumph 6-4 and become the only non-South Korean archery champion at the Tokyo Games.

"I was waiting for my turn behind my rival and I was just so happy. The gold medal is coming, I know, and I can't hide it," he laughed.

Slim-framed and bespectacled with a noticeable stammer when he talks, Gazoz stands out in an Olympic Village packed with muscle-bound swimmers and track athletes.

The 22-year-old, who was "born into" the sport as the son of a national champion archer, concedes that he is normally quite a nervous person.

"Not when I have the bowstring in my hand," he grinned. "That is my happy place in life. It's where I feel safest."

(Editing by Ossian Shine)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!
   

Next In Archery

Daneshen bang on target with third gold
Archer Kayalvhily set for festival of lights to remember with mum
Archer Khairul can still regain spot in Podium Programme
Sarawak’s Joey hits bullseye to make Tan family proud
Proud Kayalvhily returns to orphanage with one gold
Terengganu archer finds better target in compound
Tearful bullseye
Juwaidi sounds Asiad warning with golden harvest
Compound archers shoot down first gold for Malaysia
Buck up or lose your Podium spot, archers told

Others Also Read