ATC Szombathely and the world of hammer throwing is mourning the loss of respected Hungarian national coach Pal Nemeth who died from heart failure, aged 71, on Friday (9).
Nemeth (born 20 June 1937), the son of the equally respected trainer Laszlo Nemeth, was the long time coach and former Director of the IAAF’s Accredited Training Centre in Szombathely, Hungary.
Pal Nemeth started the throwing school in Szombathely in 1964. He guided the fortunes of many of the world’s great hammer throwers in particular Tibor Gécsek, the 1998 European champion and 1990 silver medallist, who was twice a World Championship bronze (1993 and 1995), and took the World Cup title in 1998.
Nemeth’s most famous pupil recently was Krisztian Pars, the 1999 World Youth, 2001 European Junior and 2003 European Under 23 champion. Pars originally finished fourth at the Beijing Olympic Games but has recently be promoted by the IOC to the silver medal position due to the disqualification of two Belarussian throwers.
Pal Nemeth's son Zsolt was the silver medallist at 1999 World Championships in Seville, and World University Games champion in the same year.
When young, Pal Nemeth was playing volleyball and basketball, both in first division of the Hungarian league. From 1956 to 1958 he was living and playing basketball in Manchester, England.
He started to be involved with hammer throwing when 23-years-old, and was twice third at a national level behind Olympians ie. Zsivotzky, Lovasz and Eckschmiedt. He would eventually become European Masters champion in Helsinki and World Masters champion in Rome.
Pal Nemeth received the highest national rank in coaching in 1985; the highest decoration in sport in Hungary in 1993; was awarded the Coach of the Year in Hungary 10 times; was elected by the journalists as the national Coach of the Year in 1998.
He was a talented artist (painter) and had his work displayed in around 30 exhibitions during his life with the last opening just two days before his death.