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Dominik Szoboszlai during his speech at the gala

Dominik Szoboszlai, Liverpool footballer and captain of the Hungarian national team, was chosen as the male athlete of the year 2023 by the Hungarian Sports Journalists’ Association (MSÚSZ), while Mária Érdi, the world champion sailor, was chosen as the female athlete of the year 2023.

As last year, the men’s national football team was named the team of the year in traditional team sports, while the men’s sabre team won the individual sports team category. Among the coaches, Marco Rossi, the national football team’s head coach, received the most votes, repeating his success of last year.

Marco Rossi accepting the award. Photo via MTI/Hegedüs Róbert

The winners of the 66th edition of the gala were announced at the Hungarian State Opera on Monday evening. The rankings were based on 471 votes, beating the record of 439 in 2019. The association’s presidential board drew up lists of ten nominees in five categories, with voting starting on December 18.

The MSÚSZ Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Pál Schmitt,

two-time Olympic champion in épée fencing, Athlete of the Nation, former President of the Republic, Honorary President of the Hungarian Olympic Committee and former member of the International Olympic Committee, by President of the Republic Katalin Novák and President of the Hungarian Olympic Committee Zsolt Gyulay.

Katalin Novák presenting the award to Pál Schmitt. Photo via MTI/Hegedüs Róbert

In addition, three-time Olympic gold medalist, world and European sabre fencing champion Áron Szilágyi was honored for his sportsmanship at the World Cup in Budapest in March, when he spectacularly returned a touch to his opponent.

Áron Szilágyi during his speech. Photo via MTI/Hegedüs Róbert

In a short speech, President of the Republic Katalin Novák congratulated the winners and the nominees. “It has been a source of pride to watch the quality sporting moments in 2023, and I hope that tonight will inspire everyone to make 2024 the year of movement,” she emphasized.

In the competition for disabled athletes, the men’s title was defended by para canoeist Péter Pál Kiss and the women’s title was won by Luca Ekler, a para athlete. In the teams’ competition, the men’s table tennis team with organ transplants came first.

The sporting highlight of the year was Soma Vogel’s “gold medal-winning” performance at the Hungary-Greece World Championships final.

Soma Vogel. Photo via MTI/Hegedüs Róbert

Other winners included Dániel Gyurta, Olympic champion swimmer; Hungarian-Slovak fitness athlete and coach Timea Majorová; and Javier Sotomayor, Cuban world record holder in the high jump, Olympic and multiple world champion; the Ballon d’Or-winner, world champion Italian footballer Fabio Cannavaro; Abraham Klein, a Timișoara-born (Temesvár, Romania) referee who has refereed four World Cups; Joe Berényi, the American Paralympic cycling champion, also of Hungarian origin; and Dániel Papp, CEO of MTVA. Also presenting the awards were Ádám Schmidt, State Secretary for Sport, Emese Szász, Olympic champion in épée fencing and Rajmund Fodor, Olympic champion in water polo, and Ádám Szalai, former captain of the national football team.

Best Swimmers Honored at the Future HQs of World Aquatics in Budapest
Best Swimmers Honored at the Future HQs of World Aquatics in Budapest

The center is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2026.Continue reading

Via MTI; Featured image via MTI/Hegedüs Róbert

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