This year's medal collection SZE’s rowers was topped with a World Championship silver medal

Széchenyi István University’s rowing team has had an extremely successful season, with students excelling in both national and international competitions. Bence Szabó's bravura performance was crowned by his World Championship silver medal last weekend, which is not only the most significant success of his career but also the most significant success in the history of rowing in Győr.

Hazewinkel, Belgium, European U23 Championships: silver medal and 6th place. Istanbul, Turkey, European University Championships: 4 silver medals, 2 bronze medals. Győr, Hungary, National University Rowing Championships (MEFOB): 3 gold medals, 3 silver medals, 1 bronze medal. These are the results of the Győr University rowing team over the last month - to which we must add Bence Szabó's brilliant second place at the World Rowing Championships.

"In recent years, it was a big deal to win one medal a year at world competitions. This year, however, the situation has changed: there was one competition where we did not win a medal. It's a huge improvement," said Zoltán Alföldi, coach of the rowing section of the Győr Athletics Club (GYAC) and a lecturer at Széchenyi István University. He pointed out that at the European University Games, only the University of Vienna has been on the podium more times than Győr.

    Széchenyi István University’s rowers (Source: GYAC)

Széchenyi István University’s rowers (Source: GYAC)

What could be behind the success? - We asked Zoltán Alföldi, who named two important factors: the training method and the close cooperation with Széchenyi István University.

"My distinguished predecessor, László Kiss, started using the international method, which I have continued to develop and supplement. I am writing my PhD thesis on the same topic, which is 70 percent physiology and training methods and 30 percent psychology. By combining the two, I try to get the highest level of performance out of athletes," he said.

"We are in the fortunate position of having a university on the banks of the Moson-Danube, which means that the distance between the campus and the boathouse is a unique 200 metres. Even the biggest institutions cannot provide this for their athletes, and here all athletes can live, study and row within such a radius," stressed Zoltán Alföldi.

Another result of almost a decade of cooperation with Széchenyi István University is the continuous development of the team.

Students can join the sport in physical education courses, where they can learn the skills of rowing first on an ergometer, then in a training pool and finally in a rowing boat.

The best students will be able to start their careers in the GYAC rowing team.

"The age at which young people join us is very variable. Some people start rowing at the age of ten and others start as university students. That's not a problem, in the Anglo-Saxon countries the system is based on new students joining. A well-known example is Katalin Karikó's daughter Zsuzsanna Francia, who took up the sport at the age of 18 and was an Olympic champion at 22. Obviously, pre-training is important, the development of the cardiovascular system is necessary, but once the foundations are laid, anything is possible," said Zoltán Alföldi.

Széchenyi students at an ergometer race (Photo: Bálint Czucz)

Széchenyi students at an ergometer race (Photo: Bálint Czucz)

The most significant achievement of the season is undoubtedly Bence Szabó's joint second place with Kálmán Furkó in the lightweight double scull category at the World Championships in Račice, Czechia, last Friday.

The pair qualified for the final in 4th place, where they demolished their rivals in the second half of the distance, overtaking the host Czechs just before the finish. The first-placed Italian team stood out from the field, with no real chance of beating them. Zoltán Alföldi said that we could still be fully satisfied with Bence Szabó, who missed the last days of his preparation due to illness and who is defending his European title this year. 

The Szabó Bence-Furkó Kálmán pair, coached by Zoltán Alföldi (left) and Dezső Molnár (right) (Source: GYAC)

The Szabó Bence-Furkó Kálmán pair, coached by Zoltán Alföldi (left) and Dezső Molnár (right) (Source: GYAC)


This year's results:

European Rowing U23 Championships (Hazewinkel, Belgium): 

Men's U23 lightweight double sculls:

- 2nd place - Balázs Szőllősi, Henry Bridge (DNHE)

Women's U23 Lightweight Doubles:

- 6th place - Eszter Fehérvári, Dorina Szili (KEK)


European University Championships (Istanbul, Turkey): 

Women's lightweight singles:

- 2nd place - Eszter Fehérvári

Men's lightweight double sculls:

- 2nd place - Balázs Szőllősi, Roland Szigeti

Men's lightweight coxless two:

- 2nd place - Balázs Szőllősi, Roland Szigeti

Men's lightweight single sculls:

- 2nd place - Roland Szigeti 

Women's double sculls:

- 3rd place - Fanni Fazekas, Eszter Fehérvári

Men's lightweight single sculls:

- 3rd place - Balázs Szőllősi


Hungarian University and College Rowing National Championships (Győr):

Women's university single sculls: 

- 1st place - Eszter Fehérvári

- 2nd place - Fazekas Fanni


Mixed University quad:

- 1st place – Balázs Szőllősi, Roland Szigeti, Eszter Fehérvári, Fanni Fazekas, 

 - 3rd place - Bálint Németh, Márton Józsa, Léna Viandt, Boglárka Varga 

- 4th place - Hanna Czencz, Margaréta Marcalek, András Csiszár, Máté Oláh 


Mixed University Eights:

- 1st place - Balázs Szőllősi, Roland Szigeti, Eszter Fehérvári, Fanni Fazekas, Márton Kaczur, Márton Józsa, Léna Viandt, Boglárka Varga, cox: Luca Csiza Pák 

- 2nd place - Hanna Czencz, Margaréta Marcalek, Lilla Samu, Anna Burkali, Imre Fehérvári, András Csiszár, Bálint Németh, Máté Oláh, cox: Dániel Tóth

Men's university single sculls: 

- 2nd place - Balázs Szőllősi 

Men's university coxless pair: 

- 4th place - András Csiszár, Márton Kaczur


World Rowing Championships (Račice, Czechia):

Men's lightweight coxless double:

- 2nd place - Bence Szabó, Kálmán Furkó (Szolnok)

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