Chengdu , China, this year was a veritable disaster for the ambitious Hungarians: a single bronze in a relay event, no podium in the individuals. According to the sport’s administrators, this was Hungary’s worst performance in 32 years. To make the wound even deeper: 2009 world champion Adam Marosi finished a modest 13th, having suffered a severely pulled knee muscle days earlier in the fencing event of the qualifying round. He suffered rather badly in the last event, the combined run/shoot event, which a year earlier earned him the world title in London.
Marosi says unduly high expectations by officialdom put extra pressure on him at the European Championships held this year in the northern Hungarian city of Debrecen.
“I was caught up in the patriotic atmosphere there,” he says. “You know, they expect you to win convincingly. This had a negative effect on my performance and, after a poor start, my whole performance collapsed in a heap. I finished 17th…”
This year’s World Championships at Chengdu, China, was another disappointment.
“We spent four weeks in a training camp beforehand,” he says, “and our training program was rather monotonous. We got there in a somewhat jaded condition. Then, to make things worse, about three days before the competition, I picked up some kind of a virus.
“During the qualifying event I pulled this muscle in my knee and it became even doubtful whether I can compete in the final two days later. Under these very adverse happenings I refuse to regard even my modest 13th placing at Chengdu as a failure. I was the top ranked among the Hungarians.”
His worst injury ever, however, came in a World Cup event at Acapulco, Mexico in 2006 where he had a horse riding accident, shattering both his tibia and fibula and keeping him out of the sport for almost two years.
Now world ranked No.3, Marosi hopes to regain his No.1 status and soon at that.
“There are quite a few changes I will adopt in my training schedule,” he says. “I will also make some changes in my private life. I am confident these will help me to proceed at the highest level in this great sport.
“I have not forgotten how to compete in pentathlon. After all, this year I won the World Cup final in Moscow where all the top men also competed, won a World Cup event in England and, earlier in the year, finished 5th in a World Cup at Mexico. It is most unfortunate that my so-called failures came at the World and European titles.
“Still, being ranked No.3 in the world isn’t something to sneeze at.
“My main mission in 2011? To win a quota for London…”
It’s clear that Marosi and his coaches have now turned their attention to the various international events coming up and – above everything else- to London where he wants to triumph and follow in the footsteps of many of his compatriots.
Marosi was born on July 26, 1984 in Budapest where he also lives at present. The 1.82m. bespectacled youngster has already graduated from the Hungarian Physical Education University, (Testnevelesi Foiskola), majoring in sport management. There is little doubt that after his retirement he will pursue some sort of a sporting career. He is hoping to secure a sponsor or two to make his life easier.
Apart from his native Hungarian, Marosi speaks English at a modest level. No doubt, he will improve his command as he keeps mingling with other pentathletes, officials and media people.
“I am committed to pentathlon fulltime,” he says, “training about 23 hours a week; most days I get up at 6.30am and my entire training week takes up 35 to 40 hours a week. I am a member of the Honved (Army) club.” This, was once, let us recall, the club of the famous Ferenc Puskas, Sandor Kocsis and other footballing superstars of the 1950s…
Because of the nature of pentathlon, Marosi has to have several coaches for the various disciplines. For some time this has been him coaching team: Zsolt Hicsak is the chief coach and also the swimming and shooting expert, Zsolt Balaska, Gabor Bognar and Akos Benko take care of riding, fencing and running.
Originally, in his youth, Marosi was pursuing a swimming career and that discipline is still his strongest.
Somehow, despite the cruel training schedule, he still finds time for hobbies. “I read books, have fun with my playstation, drive a car and play with my dog and, ah yes, I love listening to music, especially the AC/DC.”
Marosi says the greatest influence on his career was Gabor Balogh, a multiple world champion and silver medallist at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He says he loves all the disciplines of pentathlon but his outright favourites are riding and swimming.
“I rather like this new-look pentathlon arrangement,” he says. “Not much has changed in recent years: you still have to be pretty good at all events.”
Marosi mentions Rio and Paris as his two favourite cities – apart from his home-town, Budapest.
Perhaps London will be added to these three, after the 2012 Olympics…
By Andrew Dettre