Mete Gazoz scored 698 out of a possible 720 points for the 72-arrow 70-metre ranking round at the opening European Grand Prix of the year in Bucharest, Romania to set a new European record with one of the highest qualification scores in history.

“I was nervous. I kept calculating the scores in my head. My coach kept saying not to think about score but focus on my routine. I listened to him,” said Mete, who closed qualification with ends of 60, 59 and 59.

“We worked really hard during the winter and I believe this has made me strong. I’m really happy that all the effort is paying off.”

The score comes just five days after Sjef van den Berg became the first European archer to break the 690 barrier.

Sjef did it again at the European Grand Prix in Bucharest, too, scoring 691, as the Dutch recurve men set a new European record for the team ranking round. Sjef, Rick van der Ven and Steve Wijler totalled 2045 points.

“I was impressed with Sjef’s score in Antalya and even here he did better,” said Mete.

“There’s a good challenge between us and the bar is raising day by day. We are competing much more than before and this is really good for both of us.”

Sjef, too, was complimentary of Mete:

“I’m so happy with my shooting over the past weeks. Today wasn’t the best day but the score was still very good – Mete was just that much better and put an amazing score on the board.”

“I have a lot of respect for him and his shooting. This will be an interesting year for sure.”

Mete’s 698 is the highest score ever shot in international competition outside of the Olympic Games.

Kim Woojin holds the world record with 700, shot at Rio 2016. Im Dong Hyun scored 699 and Kim Bubmin had 698 at London 2012.

Both Woojin and Brady Ellison have hit 697 in ranking rounds on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit – but neither have managed 698.

Gazoz won the recurve men’s and breakthrough athlete of the year awards in 2018. Early in 2019, the 19-year-old has put forward the best score of this early season and one of the top five in history.

https://worldarchery.org/news/166332/mete-gazoz-shoots-record-setting-698-point-qualification-bucharest