According to Krisztián Kulcsár, President of the Hungarian Olympic Committee (MOB), team Hungary, which returned home with twenty medals, performed extremely well at the Tokyo Games which closed on Sunday.
At Wednesday’s press conference of the Hungarian Olympic Committee, MOB President, Krisztián Kulcsár, Director of Sport, László Fábián, and Secretary General Bálint Vékássy, shared their experiences of Tokyo with the public.
The head of MOB stressed that preliminary expectations were met one hundred percent, and recalled that in 2019 a professional forecast indicated only 13 medals for Hungary.
“To sum up: Covid had no influence on the performance of the Hungarian athletes. We surpassed Rio, winning medals in nine sports and finishing in the top six in 12, with 70 Olympians finishing in one of the top six places,” said Krisztián Kulcsár.
Krisztián Kulcsár also revealed
in an interview with sports daily Nemzeti Sport
that he does not believe that the number of gold medals is the main measure of success. “At the sporting level, the most important thing is the number of qualifiers, because in most sports it is harder to qualify for the Olympics than to achieve a good result, and those who qualify from Europe are already in the stronger half of the field,” Kulcsár says. “After that come those who have a realistic chance to win a medal, and most of them are used to finishing in at least a scoring position, so in this respect the strength of Hungarian sports is really shown by the scoring positions, even if public opinion can be rather critical if someone ’only’ finishes fourth, fifth, or sixth,” the president of MOB concluded.
Kulcsár pointed out that the number of Hungarian athletes (175) exceeded that in London and Rio, and Hungary also made progress in the diversification of sports, with our athletes competing in 27 disciplines in 23 sports.
The President of MOB added, however, that the lack of medals in boxing, athletics, and gymnastics left a feeling of wanting at the same time.
Director of Sport, László Fábián, also drew attention to another interesting outcome of the Tokyo Olympics. Even though Finland used to be the world leader in the number of gold medals per million inhabitants, this year Hungary took the lead in the all-time ranking among countries with a population higher than 1 million.
“The achievements in Japan brought a result that we have not seen for a long time, and although we are a bit heartbroken for karate which brought a bronze medal…but hopefully this will not be the last time we see this event at the Olympics,” said László Fábián.
The Hungarian athletes returned from Japan with six gold, seven silver, and seven bronze medals, making this year’s the most successful Olympics of the past 25 years. With 511 medals in total, Hungary is also the most successful nation to have never hosted the Olympics.
In the featured photo illustration: Hungarian women’s water polo team after winning the bronze medal in Tokyo. Photo by Tibor Illyés/MTI