Crippled MAG System That Has Been Irreversibly Damaged

The Hungarian MAG National Championships took place, between 30th Aug – 1st Sep. The MAG national championships delivered a downhearted level of performances, and the number of participants was at the lowest for decades.

There were only six gymnasts took part but only two of them competed on all six apparatus for the AA title, R. SHEPPARD from Stanford University and S. CSORVASI from BHSE.

Number of gymnasts competed in apparatus finals
3 5 2 2 3 2

R. SHEPPARD’s performance in the AA competition was noticeable and D. VERCSERNYES’ High Bar routine provided some enjoyment.

It was disappointing to see top officials to the Hungarian Gymnastics Federation leaving the competition arena after five rotations. Their absence during the rest of the championships was also noticed and regarded as a disrespect towards gymnasts, coaches and spectators.


According to the entries, only two senior gymnasts will compete in the All-Around competition this weekend.

R. SHEPPARD from Stanford University and S. CSORVASI will be the only two gymnasts who will compete on all six apparatus for the AA title.

One would have thought that the Hungarian MAG’s free-fall stops but facts are proving otherwise.

Regrettably, the push by Z. MAGYAR was severe enough in 2017 and afterwards, so the men’s Hungarian gymnastics continued its disastrous assisted descent.

There are seven gymnasts entered to the Hungarian Men’s Artistic Championships. There will be two more gymnasts who will also be competing but as guests.

Update to follow


Italy advancing while Hungary pushed off the cliff

There will be a very exciting MAG team qualification competition on 6th–7th Oct in Stuttgart.  Interestingly, teams like Turkey, South Korea, Spain, Italy, Taipei, Canada and Belgium have their lowest scores on Pommel Horse in their team totals. Turkey has this problem with PH for a while.  They made tremendous improvement on the other apparatus.

Any teams would like to consider qualification place in Stuttgart to the Tokyo Olympics have to make a significant improvement on Pommel Horse. The analysis based on the last World Championship in 2018. Teams in the top 12 averaged 38.158 in Doha whilst the teams ranked 13-20 averaged 36.131. Naturally, a 2.00 points progress on PH would not guarantee qualification but  that improvement would assist a team in achieving a better position. Accomplishing 13.40 points average only on PH would equate the 12th position. Interestingly, only four teams could score 13.40 points average in the top 20 teams. 

It is fascinating to learn when looking at the averages of the top 12 teams on each apparatus show that the PH has the lowest average score out of six apparatus by a significant margin of 2.410 points.

Average scores of the top 12 teams per apparatus in DOHA 2108

AVG 41.756 38.158 41.391 42.865 43.229 40.568

Italy’s MAG AA results were ranging from 76.499 to 80.600 in international championships in 2017. Unfortunately, their AA performances were below 80.000 points, but the team advanced to 14th place in 2018 in Doha.   Their team average was 13.38 points in Doha.

From the beginning of this Olympic cycle, they had seven gymnasts who performed in AA at international championships until July 2019.   There was a significant improvement in AA performances in 2019 by four gymnasts and their results were ranging from 79.898 to 81.565.   The national championships in September 2019 will provide valuable information on their progress.  The current competition format, 5-4-3 would allow selecting a specialist but that gymnast must offer back-up routines at least three more apparatus. Looking at Italy’s national championships in 2018, there is a pool of AA gymnast scoring between 78.100 and 80.900.   The question is how much improvement the teams have made since July 2018.   That will be crucial in their fight for a qualification place in Stuttgart.

Unlike the Hungarian gymnasts whose chances had been demolished by Magyar in 2017.  They had a promising start of this Olympic cycle, but because of the previously mentioned reasons, they rapidly disappeared.   Gymnasts disillusioned, and they took their career goal away by Magyar and his ill-advisors who have contributed to creating a toxic environment within the MAG section. Morale is at an all-time low within the artistic gymnastics section.

Their national championships hardly reminded for a nation that once fought for a team medal.  Only six gymnasts could compete on all six apparatus and there were apparatus finals only with three or six gymnasts in 2018 including R. SHEPPARD from Stanford University (see his results in part 2).   The Hungarian Gymnastics Federation has established a “shop-window” style so the authorities believe that everything in MAG is moving in the right direction.  If an independent consultation was conducted into the HUN Federation’s technical and management programme then the findings would be below the satisfactory level.   Experts share the same opinion that Magyar pushed the MAG in Hungary off the cliff and it will need decades to regain any noticeable results.    I.e. 1:1 full-time coaching producing AA result reaching the 64th place in World Championships would be impossible to justify.  Never mind the medal position, but the last time Hungary had a team in the Olympic Games was in 1992. K. BERKI’s participation in the World Championships in Stuttgart is still doubtful.  The government’s exceptional high funding to gymnastics should be used in a far more professional way.   

As the outcome of the President to Hungarian Gymnastics Federation imprudent and ill-advised management decisions, the number of senior gymnasts disappeared from the Hungarian MAG system resulted in a low-level national championship in 2017-18.   Subsequently, it became a great disgrace when selection took place for the senior national squad.   Gymnasts wanted to be considered being part of the national squad had to reach the 77.00 AA score regardless of the 78.50, 79.00 and 80.00 points were the realistic plan for the 2017-19 period, accepted by the Hungarian Olympic Committee.

The official trials for senior national squad membership have brought discredit on the whole management. Gymnasts’ results in trial competition in 2018 altered to match the 77.00 points. During the trial, in 2019 gymnasts could repeat routines to reach the 77.00 target result.

The official trials for senior national squad membership have brought discredit on the whole management.

This evidence of such scandalous way of acting demands a wider professional investigation by authorities. Gymnasts’ results in trial competition in 2018 were altered to match the 77.00 points. During the trial, in 2019 gymnasts could repeat routines to reach the 77.00 target result.. Gymnasts who met the 77.00 scores in the trial received government funding. Gymnasts who met the 77.00 scores in the trial receive government funding.

One would hope that the future generation will brighten the situation in MAG but looking at the trends the problems have not gone.   Disappointing to learn the similarities that appear in two generations in their programme.   Promising juniors cannot keep up with the best not even with teams at an intermediate level.   There are fundamental problems that must be addressed, but the current management finds easier to sweep them under the carpet. 

2013 – EYOF

2014 – EU CHAMPS


2018 Youth Olympic Games 

2019 Junior World Champs 




















BALAZS Krisztian 











As far as I am concerned, the race for the remaining nine places to the Olympics is wide open.   Italy has a very good chance, taking into consideration their progress from March 2017, but it will not be easy.   I am sure they will select a team after their national championships in September, which will deliver the most needed result in Stuttgart.   The teams finished in the top twelve in Doha should not take granted their last year’s result.  

To be continued


ITA v HUN – part 2

Qualification for the remaining nine places will be very exciting in the World Championships in Stuttgart. The three teams have already qualified, RUS, CHN and JPN are in a comfortable position allowing them to provide exposure to gymnasts who would be in contention for the Olympic in 2020.  Certainly, those three teams expected to finish in the highest position. It is hard to imagine that any team could challenge them.

Evaluating the teams’ totals in CI in 2017 in Doha, the gap was 9.159 points between the 4th – 12th teams. It is a very wide gap I would imagine team(s) beyond 12th place will be in contention for a qualification place to Tokyo.  

Italy finished in 14th place in Doha soring 240.763 point which was just 0.440 points less than the 12th placed France.  ITA could recover merely on Pommel Horse at least 2.0 points and based on the 2018 World Championships result, they could qualify. I am fully aware that 2.0 points improvement is very difficult, but hard work would bring success.  Undoubtedly, on paper, it is very easy but looking at ITA results since March 2017 I believe that they could succeed.  To achieve the 2.0 points improvement, ITA would need 13.00 points average on Pommel Horse which is not an impossible task.

Staying with the Pommel Horse, the Hungarian team used to finish in the top three positions on this apparatus. Krisztian Berki and Vid Hidvegi lifted their team scores on Pommel Horse. Not anymore.  Never mind the Pommel Horse, but their performances on other apparatus are disgraceful.  They have only one routine out of the 24 and that is David Vecsernyes’ High Bar routine.  He won the Bronze medal in the European Championships in 2018 and Bronze in the European Games in 2019.  Well, apart from Vecsernyes’ achievement, Hungary’s MAG performance is in a shocking situation.  

Ryan Sheppard from Stanford University was part of the team as he has dual nationality.  He arrived at Hungary in June 2018 with a score 82.050 points and finished his assignment with 77.090 in the world Championships in Doha.  This is very embarrassing for the coaches in Hungary.  Definitely, it is not Sheppard’s fault. The coaches who work with the HUN national squads are not up to his level and to the international level and the toxic environment.  

May I just refer to Olivia Cimpian, she left Hungary because of her development was not guaranteed, in fact, she had significantly fallen behind of her performance during her time spent in Hungary.    

There are several reasons to describe their outrages situation:

The Hungarian Olympic Committee has been aware of this toxic and unproductive situation in December 2017 but Magyar’s two Olympic Gold medals secured his position as a destructive force for MAG in Hungary.  We all respect Magyar’s achievement as a gymnast but that respect perished when he finished his Pommel Horse routine in 1980.  Now, as a President to the Hungarian Gymnastics Federation, his service to sport in Hungary has failed and he should resign with an immediate effect or being sacked by the Hungarian Olympic Committee.

Nine national squad gymnasts quitted from gymnastics at the end of 2017 because of Zoltan Magyar’s disgraceful and unprofessional dictatorial dealings.   Magyar is the President of the HUN Federation.

Magyar made technical and methodological decisions but he has zero coaching experience or management skills/knowledge.

Magyar did not respect any of the Federation’s regulations and violated the government’s law for sport. He makes decisions like an expert in coaching and management with zero knowledge and experience.

He disregarded the “Star Programme” in 2017 financially supported by the Government, which protected the juniors advancing to Senior National Squad. Four junior gymnasts were axed from this programme, who were part of the successful Hungarian junior team that took part in the European Championships in 2016.

These gymnasts should have had the automatic transfer to the Senior National Squad safeguarded for two years (aged between 18-20) by the financially support be the Government’s “Star Programme”.

There is fear within the gymnastics community to raise concerns about his dictatorial and unprofessional management.

Now, I am raising these (and other) serious concerns hoping to save MAG in Hungary if any left in Hungary.

To be continued


Why incompetent people often think they’re actually the best and they know all – part 1

Olympic Games are the last competition on the Code of Points for the actual cycle and marking of the beginning of the new regulations in Artistic Gymnastics. Sometimes there are major changes to the FIG CoP and often just minor adjustments occur to the Code of Points. The implementations of the new rules mean that routines have to be upgraded and modified to meet the new regulations. Historically, the first major competition in the new Olympic Cycle appears to be an important milestone for everybody and provides valuable experience for the gymnastics community.

As a matter of interest, I have chosen Italy and Hungary MAG performances to date. At the beginning of this Olympic cycle, they were relatively close but eighteen months later in October 2018; the differences doubled to 6.602 points in the World Championships which showed a significant increase over that period. What happened during this period with the HUN MAG is an extraordinary case.

Because of the increased interest, I have looked into the Hungarian MAG’s disastrous situation.

One of the most valuable competitions for years is the DTB Pokal Team Challenge, https://www.enbw-dtbpokal.de/ organised by the German Gymnastics Federation. Nobody can underestimate the importance of this event. Teams from Russia, Japan and Britain sent their teams to Stuttgart in 2017 introduced their new generation of gymnasts at the international level. So, as the other nations.

To be continued