Viktor Lőrincz did not win his final match in Tokyo, but his excellent performance throughout the grueling competition won him a well-deserved silver medal, his first podium finish at an Olympics. While Lőrincz was noticeably distraught over not making it to the very top, both he and his brother Tamás Lőrincz can return home with their heads held high.
The last struggle for gold in the men’s 87kg Greco-Roman wrestling final saw Hungary’s Lőrincz giving it his all against Ukraine’s Zhan Beleniuk. Beleniuk entered the arena with the odds in his favor, having multiple world and European championships under his belt, as well as a silver medal finish at the Rio Olympics. The Hungarian athlete was not one to be underestimated either, however, having reached the podium at three European and three world championships. In the leadup Lőrincz had defeated Kyrgyzstan’s Atabek Azizbekov, Germany’s Denis Kudla, and Egypt’s Mohamed Metwally to face his rival, and now he was hungry for gold.
Photo: Tibor Illyés/MTI
Neither contender underestimated the other, it was clear that both had put their hearts into those crucial six minutes. There was a noticeable increase in output during the second round, keeping viewers on the edges of their seats. Lőrincz gave it his heart until the very end, but he was ultimately unable to overcome Beleniuk’s four point lead (1:5).
In his post-match interview, Lőrincz was noticeably distraught over not being able to win his last match of the competition. “It is an experience which I have been always dreamed of, but in the end the result was not what I had expected,” he explained, adding that he still needs time to process the event.
Photo: Tibor Illyés/MTI
Lőrincz overcame a knee surgery, a covid infection, and a lot of time away from his family in Cegléd to reach this point, he deserves as much praise as his brother, gold medalist Tamás Lőrincz, for the incredible accomplishment.
I left Rio with empty hands, and I knew that I have more in me than a fifth place finish. This is why I worked to get to this point. It was great to see Tomi win the Olympics yesterday, I would have liked to as well but that did not come to pass. I need a few days to process this, but perhaps the most important thing is that I can take a medal home to my daughter.”
In the featured photo, Viktor Lőrincz presents his silver medal after the awards ceremony of the men’s 87kg Greco-Roman wrestling in Tokyo. Featured photo by Tibor Illyés/MTI