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ÁRON SZILÁGYI


HUNGARIAN SABRE FENCER, TWO-TIME OLYMPIC, WORLD AND EUROPEAN CHAMPION

ÁRON SZILÁGYI

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Biography

Date of birth: 14th January 1990

Height: 180 cm

Weight: 80 kg

In 2006, he won the fifth place at the Cadet World Championships. He took the 31st place among the juniors. In team, he won the 9th place. He won the gold at the European Championships organized in Poznań. In team, they won the sixth place. In 2007, he won the Cadet European Championships both in individual and in team. In the same year, he won second place in the Cadet World Championships. Still in the same year, he won a gold medal at the World Championships in St. Petersburg in team – with Tamás Decsi, Balázs Lontay and Zsolt Nemcsik. In individual he ranked as 42th. At the European Championships in Prague, he won the second place both in individual and in team.

In 2008, he won sixth place in individual, first place in team at the Junior World Championships. At the European Championship, he took the 18th place in individual and the 7th in team. At the age of 18, he made the best 16 at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He finished 7th in team. At the Junior European Championships in Amsterdam, his team won the silver medal. At the end of the year, he won the Hungarian Championships. In 2009, at the Junior World Championships, he won second place in individual and first place in team event. Szilágyi proved to be the best at the U23 European Championships in Debrecen. At the adult European Championships, his team won fourth place, while he took the 30th place in the individual event. At the World Championship in Antalya, he won 13th place in individual, third place in team. He won the gold in individual and the 6th place in team event at the Junior European Championships.

In 2010, he won third place in the individual and 9th place in the team event at the Junior World Championships. At the European Championships, he won the 11th place, while his team won the 6th place. At the World Championships in Paris, he won the 6th place, his team finished in the 10th place. He finished 6th at the Hungarian Championships.

In 2011, he was defeated by the German Nicolas Limbach in the quarter-finals at the fencing World Championships in Catania, thus finished 6th in the competition. His team also took the 6th place. At the European Championships, he won a bronze medal, while his team won the 6th place. He won the Individual Hungarian Championships. In 2012 in Chicago, he won the gold in the competition of last men’s Sabre Fencing World Cup before the Olympic Games. At the European Championships, he took the 24th place in individual and the 8th place in team events. His coach was György Gerevich, the trainer of the Olympic silver medalist Zsolt Nemcsik. After the tragic death of Gerevich in 2008, the master Béla Somlai has been his coach.

At the 2012 London Olympic Games, he started out among the best 32 in the individual sabre fencing event, where he beat the Malaysian Peng Kean Yu 15-1. In the next round, he defeated the Chinese Lee Chung Man (current champion) 15-10. Among the best 8, he won against the German Max Hartung 15-13. In the semi-finals, he defeated the Russian Nicolay Kovalev 15-7. In the finals, he had an advantage of 8-1 early on against the Italian Diego Occhiuzzi, and eventually, he won 15-8 and became the Olympic Champion. He was the first Hungarian to win a gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games.

In 2013, at the European Championships in Zagreb, he finished 18th individually, while his team – comprising Csaba Gáll, Csanád Gémesi and Nikolász Iliász – won second place. In the World Championships in Budapest, he was defeated 14-15 in the individual semi-finals by Nicolay Kovalev – who later won a silver medal –, thus, Szilágyi won the bronze medal.

During the World Championships, he was elected as a member of the Athletes’ Commission of the International Fencing Federation.

In February 2014 – when he defeated the South-Korean Gu Bon-gil –, Szilágyi won the Men’s Sabre Fencing World Cup in Padova. In the individual competition of the European Championships, Szilágyi dropped out from the best 16, but his team won the 6th place.

In 2015, he won the gold medal at the European Championships in individual, while his team won a bronze medal. At the World Championships, he finished as 6th in the individual event. András Decsi replaced Béla Somlai as his coach in September 2015.

At the Sabre Fencing Team World Championships in 2016, he won the silver medal. At the European Championships in 2016, he won 6th place in individual event, while his team finished in the 4th place.

On 10th August 2016, he defended his Olympic champion title in the finals of the sabre fencing individual event against Daryl Homer 15-8 at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. As a result, he became the first Hungarian sportsperson since 1948 to have won an Olympic gold medal as an Olympic flag bearer, as well as the third Hungarian sabre fencer after Jenő Fuchs (1908, 1912) and Rudolf Kárpáti (1956, 1960) to defend his Olympic title.

  • Hungarian junior fencer of the year (2006, 2009)
  • Junior Prima Prize (2010)
  • Hungarian fencer of the year (2011, 2012)
  • Officer's Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit (2012)
  • Honorary citizen of Budapest (2012)
  • Hungarian Sportsman of the Year vote – third place (2012)