We started to talk with Attila Spiriev about the pre-competition press conference, where he mentioned that it is already a big success to be able to organize the meeting, and it is extremely important for Hungarian athletes to be able compete on 19th August, as they can finally compete on an international field.
One year ago, when we started the organizing process of this meeting, we did not expect the competition would turn out like this… Nevertheless, the appearance of Hungarian athletes is always an important point. We try to organize events where the attendance of Hungarian athletes is justified by their position on the World Ranking. As the time progressed, the circumstances changed and it caused vital changes, like the date of the meeting and the events. The women’s shot put was left out as Anita Márton – later revealed to the public- told us she is preparing for something more important, she is expecting a baby. With the omission of the Summer Olympics, the European Championships and the underaged championships, the main competition for Hungarian athletes became the Gyulai István Memorial - Hungarian Athletics Grand Prix. According to this, we tried to launch more Hungarians in the international events, and we included several national competitions in the program.
– What can we know about the athletes’ form?
– We had very few points of reference, as there are only a few countries - including Hungary - where we can talk about any outdoor season at all. From other parts of the world, however, there were also athletes for whom this was their first or second competition. Not to mention that during the quarantine period, everyone had their different opportunity to train day by day, so it was unpredictable.
– Let's review the races in chronological order!
W Hammer throw
– Unpredictability was evident here as well. We could not talk about top form, the winner of this event the French Tavernier threw a French National Record this July and won this time too with a great result, and the Polish Kopron also steadily reached the seventy meters mark. The three Hungarians – Réka Gyurátz, Éva Orbán, Zsanett Német – did not disappoint us either, moreover Réka was injured for quite a long time.
M Hammer throw
– The line-up here was like the world championships final, on this field Bence Halász finished second – seven centimeters behind – the European champion Polish Nowicki, so his performance deserves an “excellent” label. The fact that he is hunting for 80 meters and has not reached it here does not deduct anything from his performance. It is important to mention that the Ukrainian Kohan (77.78 PB) was just more than half a meter behind the U20 world record.
W Long jump
– In order to place the results of the first and second place - 6.77, 6.76 - we need to know that in this year, a total of four better results were achieved in the world, and one of them was jumped by the winner here, the Belarusian Mironchik-Ivanova. The second and fifth athlete of the current World Ranking finished the competition 1st and 2nd. Dia Lesti 's result is outstanding, and the fact that there were three Hungarians in the first seven - Diana Lesti, Anastasia Nguyen and Petra Farkas - they reached international level.
High jump – mixed pairs
– This event was kind of an experiment. The contestants and the professionals really enjoyed it. The format is good, but we still have to shape the presentation so the audience can follow the results better so it would be really enjoyable.
M 400m hurdles
– It should be noted that each single-lap race was affected by the weather. The biggest problem was not the rain, it was more about the wind. Browsing the times, you can see 0.8s and 1s was left in the runners because of the wind. Analyzing the event this way, the 50.59s, which was run by Máté Koroknai, is especially valuable, despite the fact that he is below 50s form. It is unfortunate that the weather has prevented him from performing better. Kendziera’s victory is not a surprise, nor is Rasmus Mägi’s second place.
M Discus throw
– It was one of the biggest events of the meeting. The 2015, 2017 and 2019 World Champions were here, not to mention other World Championship finalists. It should be noted that the 63.98m that put Urbanek to fifth place would almost certainly worth a WC final. Let's not forget, that the Meeting Record is still held by Zoltán Kővágó (69.50), what a result it was, yet it is, and will be…! János Huszák's performance of 62.77m is very precious for him. He rolled up his sleeves and beat the British top holder and last year’s WC 4th.
W 400m hurdles
– The winner Femke Bolt is an amazing talent, only 20 years old, she won the U20 European Championship just before Sára Mátó last year. As far as her result of 54.67s, she was the only one, who ran faster this year. They warmed up in the sun, and the sky turned dark just before the start. There was the European champion and the European Championships silver medalist were in the line-up, and Janka Molnár (U20) ran 57.10s, she only ran better than this once in her life. Fantastic result. Sára Mátó did not perform badly either (57.61), she should not be ashamed.
– We did not expect an outstanding result in this event, we expected to have the winner around 51s. The windy and rainy weather is to blame for that didn’t happened. In this environment, it is valuable that Evelin Nádházy - who struggled with many problems during her preparation - was just behind her season best result.
– The winner of this event was the US athlete Montgomery. Result should have been around 45s, but the weather was not nice to us. Thus, the 47.76s time of Dániel Ajide is even more valuable, as he ran this distance for the first time a few weeks ago and soon became a Hungarian national champion. He can be an excellent 400 hurdler.
M Triple jump
– Zango from Burkina Faso who lives in France jumped the World Leading result. He outperformed the great Christian Taylor, Pichardo and Copello. The 4th on the World Ranking beat the 1st and the 3rd. That was one of the most exciting events.
– With Noah Lyles coming to Hungary, the competition won much. This has great news value in the international athletics and world media. Since he hasn’t been to Hungary yet, the local fans may be less familiar with him, but we’re talking about a superstar who ranks second in the all-around World Ranking- behind the Swedish pole vaulter, Duplantis. At the 2019 Doha World Championships he was the gold medalist in the 200m and also claimed a world champion title with the 4x100m relay. We were lucky because the rain stopped, as did the wind, however the conditions have already been slowed the track down, so maybe another twenty minutes later, a result within 10s could have been achieved. Almási and Boros did a good job, and the race would be better if Rodgers had not made a mistake at the start.
– This is where the most important result of the meeting was born. Luca Kozák’s performance is spectacular. She was beaten by only 0.03s by the Dutch Visser who equalized her World Leading result. The 12.71s is the second best result this year! Wonderful. Not to mention she defeated the reigning European champion Elvira Herman from Belarus and US athlete Sharika Nelvis.
– If Ortega or Holloway beat the other, it’s not a surprise. One is the current world leader the other one is the reigning world champion. At the finish line there was only 0.01s between them. Holloway made a mistake at the sixth hurdle but if he could continue with what he did on the first five hurdles, he would have run a WR. I have never seen anything like that in my life. He had approximately 2-3m lead. On the other hand, Ortega’s result, 13.21, is extremely powerful, so he well deserved to win the Dr. Spiriev Bojidar trophy. Speaking of Balázs Baji, the most important is that he could compete after his terrible injury. Valdó Szűcs can do so much better, he really need these kinds of competitions to have more experience. I would also like to highlight Balint Szeles from heat B, who finished 5th with the best result of his life. The young athlete’s kidney has been removed so it is fantastic that he could compete.
– Irby - who previously ran a WL result in the 400m- won, which is not a big surprise, despite the fact that Schippers, Kambundji, Ta Lou, and Lalova was also in the line-up.
– Just after 65 minutes Noah Lyles’ victory in the 100m he won the 200m too. Of course, we all wanted him to run in 20s, since not so long ago in Monaco he had already done it, this time he ‘only’ ran the current 4th best time in the world. I feel sorry for Tamás Máté that he did not manage to run a little better, but he still did great.
– The 800m’s defending world champion, Donavan Brazier won in a great race, but it was not an easy task because of Wesley Vázquez who finished 5th at Doha. Seeing the result, we note that the 600 meters are not usually run as they were now in Székesfehérvár. All athletes had to run the whole distance in their own lane, which is far from ideal. We previously decided that we only hold events where the physical contact can be avoided. Balázs Vindics (1: 16.84) was half a second behind Balázs Korányi’s National Record, which proves that he could surpass Tamás Kazi’s 800m National Record.
How would you summarise the X. Gyulai Istvan Memorial – Hungarian Athletics Grand Prix?
– If I would have to write a book about the last ten years, the first nine would each be a chapter, but I could not summarize the tenth in less than forty. If the president of the Organizing Committee, Péter Deutsch, had not been so confident that the Gyulai István Memorial will be held in 2020, I do not think we could have organized it. I sincerely would like to thank everyone who was part of this year’s meeting. The Hungarian authorities, the organizers, the volunteers, the athletes, the coaches, the managers, everyone performed outstanding. There was an “Impossible Games” in Oslo (instead of Bislett Games), we organized the "Real Impossible Games" in Székesfehérvár. I'm so glad it worked out!
Peter Deutsch, the president of the organizing committee also commented on the the X. Gyulai Istvan Memorial – Hungarian Athletics Grand Prix.
– This year’s competition marked the 10th birthday of our event, that usually tends to be special. After the meeting, I can only confirm that despite the fact of the changed circumstances in the recent months, what we could see was amazing, unfortunately without spectators. There have always been memorable moments in the last ten year, but this year, by getting into the WA Continental Tour Gold series, we’ve managed to take it to another level. We can be proud of the work that has been done, great results were made in this year’s competition, and perhaps let me highlight Luca Kozák’s amazing performance in the 100m hurdles, she beat a 36 years old National Record.
Thank you to everyone who participated as a supporter or active contributor to this event, it is truly a shared success for the country and the athletic community that I am personally proud of.
We did it, THANK YOU!
Of course, we will continue in 2021!