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DANUTA KOZÁK


KAYAKER, FIVE-TIME HUNGARIAN OLYMPIC CHAMPION

DANUTA KOZÁK

Biography

Date of birth: 11 January 1987

Height: 168 cm

Weight: 63 kg

She started kayaking in 1996 in the Central Sport and Youth Club (KSI). In 2002, she won the silver medal at the Junior European Championships. In 2003, she won two gold medals at the Junior World Championships. In the following year, she became a Junior European champion in both single and double events. In 2005, she was the Junior World champion in two single events. In 2006, she won two silver medals on 500m at the U23 European Championships. She was fourth in the single event. In 2007, she made it to the national team for the European Championships. She won first place on 1000m K2 at the Continental Qualifiers. At the World Championships, she won a bronze medal on 1000m. She won first place in K2 1000m and K1 500m at the U23 European Championships. She won second place in the K2 500m event. In 2008, she won in the K4 200m and the K2 500m races at the European Championships, where she came in second in K4 500m. She won a silver medal at the Olympic Games in the kayak four. In 2009, Szabó and Kozák were the best in Europe in the K2 500m event. She won a silver medal in relay.

She won the K4 500m and the K2 500m races at the World Championships. In 2010, she won the European Championships in K1 500m, and won a silver medal in the kayak four event. She won the World Championships in the kayak double race. Next year at the European Championships, she came in first in K1 500m and K2 200m (with Katalin Kovács), second in K4 500m, and ninth place in K1 200m. At the World Championships in Szeged, she won the K4 500m and the K2 200m events, won second place in the K1 500m, and third place relay. At the end of the year, she was chosen the Hungarian female kayaker of the year. In 2012 at the European Championships, she won second place in K1 and third place in K4. In the Olympic Games she competed in K1 and K4.

She won the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games in the K4 500m and K1 500m.

In the European Championships in 2013, she won a gold medal in K4 500m, a silver medal in K1 500m. The three gold medals (K1 500m, K4 500m, K1 4x200m) made her the most successful participant at the World Championships in Duisburg.

At the Kayak-Canoe Sprint European Championships in 2014, she won the gold in the K1 200m, K1 500m and K4 500m events (with Szabó, Kárász and Vad). At the Kayak-Canoe Sprint World Championships in 2014, she won sixth place in the K1 200m and first place in K1 and K4 500 meter races. At the European Championships in 2015, she won a bronze medal in K1 200m, and a gold in K1 500m and K4 500m (with Szabó, Kárász and Vad). At 2015 Kayak-Canoe Sprint World Championships she won first place in the K2 500m (with Szabó) and second place in K4 500m (with Szabó, Fazekas and Kárász).

At the Kayak-Canoe Sprint European Championships in 2016, she won a gold medal in the three 500m events.

At the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, she won first place in K2 500m with Gabriella Szabó, and two days later she defended her Olympic Champion title in K1 500m. As K4 team member – with Gabriella Szabó, Danuta Kozák, Krisztina Fazekas-Zur and Tamara Csipes – she won the 500m event as well, thus, she won three gold medals at the Rio Olympic games, raising the number of gold medals won by the Hungarian Olympic team to 8.

  • Kozák is the female Hungarian kayaker with the highest number of Olympic gold medals won
  • Knight’s Cross from the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic (2008)
  • Junior Prima Prize (2008)
  • Sportsperson of KSI of the year (2008)
  • Hungarian kayaker of the year (2011, 2012, 2013)
  • All-time champion of Hungarian Kayak-Canoe (2011)
  • Hungarian Sportswoman of the Year vote, second place (2011, 2012)
  • Officer's Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit (2012)
  • Honorary citizen of Budapest (2012)
  • Hungarian Team of the Year vote, second place (women's kayak four) (2012)