The Hungarian Javelin Legend and triple consecutive Olympic medallist in the 1960s, Gergely Kulcsár, has died at the age of 86.
Hungarian Kulcsár, who won a silver medal at the Tokyo 1964 Games, passed away on Wednesday (August 12), according to the Hungarian Athletics Association.
He was one of the nation’s top athletes of the decade, having won a bronze medal at the Rome 1960 Games at the age of 26 and achieved the same feat eight years later in Mexico City.
At 30 years old, in 1964, Kulcsár came closest to becoming the Olympic champion in a fantastic final which saw him pipped to the gold medal by Finland’s Pauli Nevala by 34 centimetres.
Kulcsár finished second with a throw of 82.32 metres.
Despite throwing a personal best of 87.06m in the 1968 final, he came third behind the Soviet Union’s champion Jānis Lūsis and Finland’s Jorma Kinnunen, with the former breaking the Olympic record.
Kulcsár competed in the Munich 1972 Olympics at 38, but narrowly missed out on qualification for the final – ending up in 14th place.
Kulcsár was interested in football and handball in his youth and only took up javelin at the age of 17.
One of Hungary’s sporting heroes in the period after the “Mighty Magyars” football team of the 1950s, his achievements were recognised to the point where he acted as flag-bearer for Hungary at three consecutive Olympics from 1964 to 1972.
He was the first Hungarian to throw a javelin further than 80m and was a 12-time national champion.
After retirement, Kulcsár was the head throwing coach for the Hungarian national team until 1980, with one of his athletes, Miklós Németh, winning the Olympic title at Montreal 1976.
For most of the period from 1981 to 1993, Kulcsár was also the throwing coach of
For most of the period from 1981 to 1993, Kulcsár was also the throwing coach of Kuwait.
Kulcsár was additionally a bronze medallist at the 1955 and 1966 European Championships, as well as the Universiade champion in javelin in 1961.