The international federation of World Athletics has appointed Márton Gyulai as the organization’s Director of Sport. The Hungarian professional was the Deputy CEO of Budapest 2023 Nonprofit Zrt., the organizer of the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August, reports Nemzeti Sport.
“Márton is the ideal choice for this role, with his extensive experience in a wide range of athletics disciplines,” said Jon Ridgeon, WA Executive Director. He added that the the organization’s priority for the next four years will be to develop its competitions, and the Hungarian professional will play a key role in this.
We are proud to have set a new benchmark with the Budapest 2023 team at the World Championships in Budapest. We worked hard to create an innovative and engaging event and we could not be more pleased with the result.”
“In the future, the development of the competitions will be our most important task. An increasing number of one-day events are being organized around the world alongside the big global sporting events and it is crucial to attract more fans and spectators to these events,” emphasized Márton Gyulai, who can be seen in the picture below with other professionals.
From left to right: Balázs Németh, CEO of Budapest 2023 Nonprofit Zrt., the organizer of the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Sebastian Coe, President of World Athletics, Márton Gyulai, and Jon Ridgeon, Executive Director of World Athletics.
Gyulai mentioned that the international federation announced a call for applications for the post around January-February. At that time, he showed interest in the job, but only that, because he was completely preoccupied with the organization of the World Championships in Budapest. Nevertheless, the WA officials “heard” – as he put it – that he might be interested in the job, and the federation realized that the job did not have to be filled immediately, but could be filled towards the end of the season, after the World Championships.
Gyulai has been a member of the European Athletic Association Council since 2015, and has served on the Executive Committee, the direct governing body, since 2021.
Previously, he was also Secretary General of the Hungarian Federation and worked for many years as a race director at the Gyulai Memorial – Hungarian Athletics Grand Prix, a competition honoring his father, István Gyulai.
István Gyulai (R) working as a sports reporter. Photo: Fortepan / Rádió és Televízió Újság
István Gyulai (1943-2006) was an athlete, sports journalist, and Secretary General of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF, now World Athletics). He won the Hungarian championships in short distance running 28 times and was a national team member between 1961 and 1969. He won the gold medal at the 1963 Universiade and the silver medal at the 1965 Universiade, also also competing at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. After university, he became a journalist for Hungarian Television, where he covered several world events and Olympics, starting with the 1972 Winter Olympics. He later continued his work as editor-in-chief of Telesport until he was appointed Secretary General of the IAAF. In Hungary, he was Vice-President of the Athletics Federation from 1991 to 2001, and was made Honorary President on his departure.
The athlete had four children. His son Miklós had previously achieved success as a short distance runner, competing in the Summer Olympics and later in the Winter Olympics with the national bobsled team. His other son, Márton, was also a bobsledracer, competing in the 2002 and 2006 Winter Olympics. Both have followed in their father’s footsteps and are well-known television sports reporters, and since February 2008, Miklós Gyulai has been leading the Hungarian Athletics Federation.
WA’s new sport director will take up his post in Monaco on October 1, following in the footsteps of his father, István Gyulai, who was secretary general of the international federation for 15 years.
Featured photo via Facebook/Gyulai István Memorial