Baku, June 13, AZERTAC
Turkey's archers believe that they can avenge a recent close defeat by Italy, one of the favourites at Baku 2015, and that they have every chance of winning gold.
"Italy are our main rivals, but I believe we can defeat them in Baku. I don't see a big difference between them and us. Even in the European Grand Prix event in Marathon, Greece, we only lost to them by a few points," said Fatih Bozlar.
The Turkish team believe that Baku's windy weather and the close cultural and linguistic ties between them and their Azerbaijani neighbours may give them an advantage.
Coach Alper Aytacoglu said, "We are very comfortable in our brothers' land, it is like home, and I think we will achieve good results here."
Aybuke Aktuna, 2013 European championships gold medallist in the mixed team and silver medallist in the women's individual, added, "The field is really good, but in windy conditions anything can happen. I believe in my team, and we are good in individuals also."
Begunhan Unsal added that, in her view, European archers have closed the gap with the previously all-conquering Koreans, in part because the rules changed after the London 2012 Olympics so that archers now have to win the most sets rather than accumulate the most points to emerge victorious: "Korean archers are not at the top any more. Especially after the change from the point system to set system, every country has a chance. And in Europe almost everyone is at the same level and ranking points are similar. I don't expect big changes in Baku."
The 2012 European Championships bronze medalist in the men's individual, Yagiz Yilmaz, said, "Baku 2015 is a much more important event than European championships. It has Olympic standards, so it will be hard, but I think we have a 70% chance of winning."
Archery at Baku 2015 will take place from Tuesday 16 to Monday 22 June at the Tofiq Bahramov Stadium.