Hungary celebrate hammer strength by naming Pars and Orban as athletes of the year | 19.11.2012
|Olympic and European champion Krisztian Pars has
been named Hungarian athlete of the year.
Pars, 30, won the title after a tremendous summer where he took gold at the European Athletics Championships in Finland and then triumphed at the Olympic Games in London.
Orban, 27, was rewarded for finishing seventh in Helsinki.
Pars' double glory was his first major triumphs for nine years since he won gold at the 2003 European Athletics U23 Championships in Bydgoszcz having won the World Youth Championships in the same city in 1999.
Since, he has regularly been at the height of world hammer throwing, finishing fifth at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, fourth in Beijing in 2008 before then finally stepping up to the podium at the major championships two years later.
In Barcelona in 2010, he won bronze at the European Athletics Championships, 12 months after that silver at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu before this summer of double gold.
It was fitting that he lifted the Olympic title in London because the last time the Games were held in the English capital, in 1948, it was the first time Hungary won the event.
Imre Nemeth's glory then set a standard where Pars becomes the fifth from the country to hold the title.
His victory in London came with a throw of 80.59m ahead of Primoz Kozmus, of Slovenia, with 79.36m and Japan's Koji Murofushi who threw 78.71m.
Pars had entered the Olympics with the success of Helsinki behind him after winning the European gold with a throw of 79.40m from Russia's Aleksiy Zagomy, who was second with 77.40m and Szymon Ziolkowski, of Poland, who was third with 76.67m.
The delight was not lost on Pars who said: "I am very happy."
Orban, 27, had a best of 67.92m for seventh in Helsinki as Anita Wlodarczyk won with 74.29m.
In London, she threw further with 68.64m for 17th in qualifying but it was not enough to make the final.