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THE FERRARI OF WATERPOLO - Tamás Kásás


If anyone was to ask what the perfect cardboard cutout of a waterpolo player should be, then you would certainly look no further than Tamás Kásás.


Taking up the sport at the age of six, under the guidance of his famous father Zoltán, winning Olympic silver medal in 1972, World Championship Gold 1973 and a European title in 1974.


The Modern Era was about to be set alight with a player that was simply a gift from the waterpolo Gods! Known for his ability to spring out of the water and block shots, as well as his strength in one-on-one situations, was a class above the rest.

He is also noted for his highly accurate passing ability, not to mention a shooting action that players dream of and goalkeepers despised.

Kásás made his Olympic debut in 1996, where Hungary reached the semifinals before losing to the Manuel Estiarte led Spanish squad which went on to win the Gold Medal.

However, the Hungarian team bounced back to win European Championships in 1997 and 1999, as well as a Champions League cup in 1998 which set the foundations for twelve year Golden era of Hungarian Waterpolo.

It became something of a national catastrophe and source of embarrassment when the pride of Hungary failed to medal in four consecutive Olympic contests. After finishing fourth in Atlanta 1996, the Federation reached out to a young coach by the name of Dénes Kemény who had made a name for himself coaching in Italy and Australia, to rescue the program.

Kemény started by building his team around two youngsters that made their Olympic debut 1996 Games in Atlanta: Tibor Benedek and Tamas Kásás.

Kemeny’s new approach brought immediate results, as the Hungarians won gold at the 1997 European Championships, silver at the 1998 FINA World Championships and gold at the 1999 World Cup.

At the 2000 Sydney Games, Hungary regained its Olympic water polo success by winning their first Olympic medal in 24 years, and their record seventh water polo gold medal, by routing Russia, 13-6.

Four years later, at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Gergely Kiss scored four goals, including the game-winner in an 8-7 come-from-behind victory over Serbia-Montenegro to defend their title.

In Beijing, at the 2008 Olympic Games, the Hungarians faced off against the surprising team from the USA. In a wild shoot out, the Magyars took command in the fourth quarter for a 14-10 victory.

The win gave Hungary an unprecedented third consecutive Olympic title.

While a total of 21 players won Olympic gold medals playing for Hungary over the period of 2000 to 2008, only six own three by themselves. Tamas Kásás, Tibor Benedek, Tamás Molnár, Gergely Kiss, Péter Biros, Zoltán Szécsi.



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