Coach and three-time Olympic champion Tibor Benedek, somewhat surprisingly announced to completely leave water polo behind. The iconic sportsman hasn’t disclosed any particular reason, but explained his decision was due to private matters.
In his latest job, Benedek was responsible for overseeing the UVSE’s water polo team.
In his statement, he said that as of May 1st, he would only be seen at water polo games as a fan, revealing that the reason for his departure is exclusively personal. “Overall, I can say that both as a national and youth coach, I got everything I could. Unfortunately I couldn’t win everything, but I don’t want to appear insatiable.”
According to UVSE president Péter Lovas, over the past three and a half years Benedek has given “inestimable value” to UVSE, both personally and professionally. He recalled that under his leadership, the club won 32 gold and 20 silver medals in total, in addition to a LEN Cup victory. Benedek “redefined the concept of youth water polo and built a dream team that reached the top 8 in the strongest league in the world, mostly with secondary school students.”
Benedek, aged 47, is considered one of the best water polo players ever, who was part of the Hungarian national team that emerged Olympic champion three times in a row (in 2000, 2004, and 2008). This adds to a European and World Championship crown. In addition, after having retired from playing, from 2013 he also coached the national team and led it once again to clinch the World Championship title in that same year. He departed after the disappointing Rio Olympics in 2016.