Celebrations as Turkey's Mete Gazoz hits the target to defeat former Olympic champion Italy's Mauro Nespoli in men's archery individual final
Turkey’s Mete Gazoz punched the air with delight after beating former Olympic champion Italy’s Mauro Nespoli in the men’s individual archery final at Tokyo 2020.
The 22-year-old reigning World Cup Champion won by 6-4 to claim the gold medal at the Yumenoshima Park Archery Field. The 34-year-old Italian, who won a team gold at London 2012 and is a former world and two-time European champion, had led the first few sets, but Gazoz rallied to clinch the match on 31 July.
At a press conference later, Gazoz said he had been inspired by Rio 2016 to go for gold at Tokyo 2020. "It’s amazing to have a gold medal in the Olympics. After Rio 2016, I promised myself I will be the Olympic champion next time in Tokyo. I really worked hard and did all the necessary things to be here, to be on top of the podium. So I’m really happy," he said. “It’s a great honour for me to represent my country, and also I represent all spectators here who watch me live from Turkey.”
On winning silver Nespoli also expressed his delight: “I’m really, really happy, and it means a lot to me because I’ve been pursuing these individual measures for 24 years. I’m really proud of my shots."
Japan’s FURUKAWA Takaharu, 27, who won a team archery gold in the Asian Games 2018, took the bronze after defeating Chinese Taipei’s TANG Chih-Chun 7-3.
Furukawa had earlier beaten one of the tournament favourites, 29-year-old Atanu Das from India, 6-4, in the elimination round. Brady Ellison, 32, the 2016 individual bronze medallist from the United States, was another standout archer who failed to make the final. He was defeated by Gazoz in the quarterfinal 7-3.