Samsun: World Cup Final – Friday

28 September, 2018

Sara Lopez practices in the finals arena, Samsun 2018

It’s been a long day of brooding skies over the Turkish northern coastal city of Samsun, as the world’s first archery event to take place on a helipad had a day of familiarisation.

Competing are a set of athletes mostly familiar to anyone who has been even casually following international archery. The host country gets four places to go with the two they won by right, but Mete Gazoz and Yesim Bostan are serious contenders for a win on home soil, with former champion Demir Elmaagacli in the mix as well. No host nation has ever won the championship. That could well change very soon.

It’s an appropriate place to hold it, after a year in which Turkish archery fully stepped up to the world elite level, and not by accident – they have been seriously investing in their top level athletes, to the point where Mete and Yasemin Anagoz (new European champion, also competing here) now live for free in a five-star hotel in Antalya, as long as they go and and practice all day, everyday and win for their country – a side of the bargain they have held up.

Mete Gazoz

But you’d give almost everyone here a shot, frankly. The quality in depth at the top level is astonishing, and I’m lucky to be here to watch it. There are a few clouds on the horizon: the arena is huge and people are worried it can be filled, plus there is a gigantic thunderstorm apparently brewing for Recurve Sunday. Let’s see what comes down the line.

Demir Elmagaacli

Demir Elmagaacli has the sort of overstated features that are almost ridiculously handsome. Kind of the sort of handsome that would reach to the back of a dark theatre.

If you zoom on Mauro Nespoli’s bow, it’s got some hashtags scratched into it when him and David Pascqualucci were bored in Yankton.

It also says ‘Nesp Edition’ on his bow. Fivics must have got busy.

Chang Hyejin

Ksenia Perova

Ksenia Perova was looking in that kind of ‘fuck you’ mood that’s part of the reason why she usually wins. I can’t deny the urge to watch her have a third showdown with Hyejin – which the brackets will allow.

So Chaewon

So Chaewon looking like a total badass. Also had that kind of aggressive spark about her practice that said ‘I want to to win this’.

More tomorrow.

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