The Hungarian Canoe Federation (MKKSZ) has welcomed its 24 athletes who will take part in the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics at a recent presentation ceremony of the team. Team leaders are expecting six podium finishes from the kayak-canoe teams, but warn that the extreme conditions could make things difficult for the athletes.
At the press event, Gábor Schmidt, President of MKKSZ, recalled that in 2019 no one would have thought that the flame would not be lit in the Japanese capital in the summer of 2020, but then last spring everything changed.
“Now, however, it is certain that the speed races will start in Tokyo on 2 August, with the slalom before that,” he said.
Gergely Boros, the professional manager of the federation, spoke about the national team.
“Everyone had to take a slightly different path than usual to get to Tokyo, but it’s great to be able to represent the country with 24 players. The team has a strong chance of winning medals, I think six podium finishes is a realistic expectation, and I hope that most of them will involve the brightest medals,” he said. He added that the chances of the Hungarian athletes are further boosted by the fact that for the first time this year two teams can be assigned per nation, in singles and doubles.
Gergely Boros added that the Hungarian athletes are in good condition, they have all been vaccinated against the coronavirus, and in three weeks they will leave for the acclimatization training camp in Takamatsu.
Csaba Hüttner, the captain of the national sprint kayak team, said that the Hungarians will be competing in all events at the Olympics, which is a great achievement.
The specialist said that in many ways this will be an “extreme” Olympics and that success will depend on who can adapt better to the conditions.
The captain said there’s a chance for some future changes in the men’s kayak team as their composition is not yet final.
Julia Schmid, who will compete in slalom kayak at the Tokyo Olympics, also made her debut. She is the first Hungarian athlete ever to compete in this event at an Olympic game.
At the Paralympics, which starts on 24 August, six athletes will represent Hungary. Róbert Weisz, the head of the discipline, said they hope to win a medal.
The full list of Hungarian Athletes:
Sprint kayak(K)/canoe (C)
K-1 200 m: Sándor Tótka, Kolos Csizmadia
K-1 1000 m: Ádám Varga, Bálint Kopasz
K-2 1000 m: Kornél Béke, Varga; Bence Nádas, Kopasz?
K-4 500 m: Béke, Nádas, Csizmadia, Tótka?
C-1 1000 m: Adolf Balázs, Fejes Dániel
C-2 1000 m: Adolf, Fejes
K-1 200 m: Dóra Lucz, Anna Kárász
K-1 500 m: Danuta Kozák, Tamara Csipes
K-2 500 m: Kozák, Bodonyi Dóra; Csipes, Medveczky Erika
K-4 500 m: Kárász, Kozák, Csipes, Bodonyi
C-1 200 m: Kincső Takács, Dóra Horányi
C-2 500 m: Virág Balla, Takács
Schmid Julia (women’s canoe)
Pulai Erika (KL1)
Varga Katalin (KL2)
Péter Kiss (KL1)
András Rozbora (KL2)
Kiss Erik (KL3)
Tamás Juhász (VL2, KL1)
Featured photo by Tamás Kovács/MTI