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Speed Skaters Reign at Sportsman of the Year Gala

Ábrahám Vass 2019.02.15.

For the 61st time, members of the Hungarian Sports Journalists’ Association (MSÚSZ) had the opportunity to vote on the best athletes and athletic achievements of the past year. Legendary former athlete Carl Lewis was invited to present at the Gala held at the National Theater. The team behind Hungary’s first Winter Olympics gold medal rightfully took home the most awards at this year’s Sportsman of the Year Gala.

The Sportsman of the Year award went to short track speed skater Shaolin Sándor Liu, who finished second at WC. Wrestler Péter Bácsi, the winner of the World Championships held in Budapest last year, came in second and tennis player Márton Fucsovics finished in third.

Kayaker Danuta Kozák was elected Sportswoman of the Year, beating out five-time winner Katinka Hosszú. Upon returning from giving birth, Kozák won three gold medals at last year’s Canoe Sprint World Championships in Portugal. Tennis player Tímea Babos, ranked number one in doubles in the world championships and the Australian Open, emerged third.

Carl Lewis congratulating to Shaolin Sándor Liu with Budapest mayor István Tarlós in the background. Photo by MTI/ Tibor Illyés

The short track speed skating relay team responsible for winning Hungary’s first ever gold medal in the Winter Olympics was voted best team (Individual Sports Team Competition). The Győri Audi ETO KC handball squad was voted best in traditional team sports for winning the Hungarian championship and claiming the team’s fourth Champions League title in one year.

RB Leipzig and the Hungarian National team’s goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi were voted best in men’s football. In the women’s category, German star club Vfl Wolfsburg’s Zsanett Jakabfi took home the title. Fans voted Ferencváros midfielder Dávid Sigér’s 20 meter shot against MTK the best domestic goal of the year.

Speed skating coaches, Lina Zhang Jing and Ákos Bánhidi, claimed the award for best trainer.

The award for best disabled sportsman went to Alexandra Gyurkó (transplanted swimmer) and Róbert Gelencsér (transplanted athlete). The Women’s wheelchair fencing team was voted best disabled team.

Former table tennis world-champions István Jónyer, Tibor Klampár and Gábor Gergely. Image by MTI/Tibor Illyés.

The MSÚSZ and Hungarian Olympic Committee’s (MOB) Lifetime Achievement Award went to former table tennis world-champion trio István Jónyer, Tibor Klampár and Gábor Gergely. The Hungarian Football Association (MLSZ) gave a similar award to former Ferencváros legend and Euro and Olympic bronze medalist, Gyula Rákosi.

featured image via MTI/ Tibor Illyés