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Hurdler Balázs Baji and Swimmer Katinka Hosszú are Hungary’s ‘Athletes of the Year’

By Fanni Kaszás // 2018.01.12.

Hurdles runner Balazs Baji, who won a bronze medal at the world championship in London this year, and Olympic gold medalist and world champion swimmer Katinka Hosszú have been elected Hungary’s Athletes of the Year by the Hungarian Sports Journalists’ Association (Magyar Sportújságírók Szövetsége – MSÚSZ) at the 60th Sportspeople of the Year Gala on Thursday.

This is the first time the veterinarian and runner Baji received the Athlete of the Year award. He won this year’s prize for his bronze medal in 110m hurdles at the track and field world championships in London and his gold at the Taipei Universiade.

Hosszú won the title for the sixth time, after she notched up two gold medals, one silver and one bronze at the FINA world swimming and aquatics championships in Budapest in July, and a total of 6 medals at the European short course swimming championships in Copenhagen later in the year. With her fifth ‘Athlete of the Year’ title in row, the ’Iron Lady’ is fast approaching the seven-time winner and record-holder Krisztina Egerszegi.

Katinka Hosszú photo: MTI / SZilárd Koszticsák

American Shane Tusup, Hosszú’s coach and husband, received the Coach of The Year Prize. Tusup previously won MSÚSZ’s coaching award in 2013, 2014, and 2016.

The women’s handball team of Győr won the award for the Best Team, beating out the men’s water polo team of Szolnok for the honor. The handball team won the Champions’ League for the third time in 2017.

The Honorary Award of the Hungarian Sports Journalists’ Association and the Hungarian Olympic Committee was awarded to András Balczó, modern pentathlete and three times Olympic gold medalist, while Miklós Mészöly received an Honorary Award from the Hungarian Football Federation.

Hungarian Sportspeople of the Year awards have been granted each year since 1958, with categories for sportsmen, sportswomen, teams, coaches and presidents. Winners were announced at an awards gala at the Hungarian National Theatre in Budapest yesterday evening.

Shane Tusup gave his acceptance speech in Hungarian, in which he apologized for his behavior not only to those who believed in him and considered him a role model, but also to his wife, Katinka Hosszú, with whom he has made the front page of Hungarian tabloids in recent weeks with speculation about “troubles in their marriage”.

via MTI, 24.hu, swimswam.com