Emese Szász (pronounced [ˈɛmɛʃɛ ˈsaːs]; born 7 September 1982) is a Hungarian épée fencer, Olympic gold medalist (2016), and silver medallist at the 2010 World Championships. She won the World Cup series in 2009–10 and 2010–11 seasons.
|Full name||Emese Judit Szász|
|Born||7 September 1982|
|Height||1.76 m (5 ft 9 1⁄2 in)|
|Weight||69 kg (152 lb)|
|Club||Vasas SC (2009- )|
Bp. Honvéd ( -2009)
|Head coach(es)||Győző Kulcsár|
|FIE ranking||current ranking|
Szász's first sport was swimming, but she grew tired of it. She did not think she would succeed in a ball game, being left-handed, so she took on fencing. Her first coaches were György Felletár and Béla Kopetka. She joined the junior national Hungarian team, with which she won a gold medal at the 1998 Junior World Championships in Valencia and a silver medal at the 1999 edition in Keszthely.
At the senior level she won a team silver medal with Hungary at the 2005 World Championships in Leipzig. She made her breakthrough in the 2005–06 season, climbing her first World Cup podium with a bronze medal in Barcelona, then a victory at the Havana Grand Prix. She took an individual bronze medal at the 2006 edition in Leipzig after she lost 15–10 to Estonia's Irina Embrich in the semi-finals. She finished No.4 in World rankings.
In the 2007–08 season she posted six top-eight rankings, including two victories at the Tauberbischofsheim and the Sydney World Cups. She qualified to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing through her individual ranking. She defeated Algeria's Hadia Bentaleb in the table of 32, but yielded to Russia's Lyubov Shutova in the next round.
In the 2009–10 season she posted four podiums, including a victory in Luxembourg. She reached the semi-finals at the 2010 World Championships in Paris after defeating France's Laura Flessel-Colovic by a single hit. She saw off Italy's Nathalie Moellhausen, but yielded in the final to another Frenchwoman, Maureen Nisima, and claimed her first World individual medal. She finished the season World No.1.
World No.14 before the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Szász won her Olympic ticket by winning the European qualifying tournament held in Bratislava, defeating Laura Flessel in the final. At the Olympics Szász received a bye in the first round, then lost in the table of 32 to Korea's Choi In-jeong.
During the 2012–13 season she took the silver in the World Cup events of Saint-Maur and Havana, being defeated each time in the final by Romania's Ana Maria Brânză. She earned a bronze medal in the 2013 European Fencing Championships in Zagreb and the 2013 World Fencing Championships in Budapest, in her home country. She finished No.3 World rankings.
She began the 2013–14 season by winning gold in the 2013 World Combat Games in Saint-Petersburg, defeating in the final world champion Julia Beljajeva. She earned a bronze medal in the Leipzig World Cup and the Havana Grand Prix, a silver medal in the Rio de Janeiro World Cup, and a gold medal the Barcelona World Cup. She reached the quarter-finals at the 2014 European Championships in Strasbourg, before losing to eventual gold medallist Bianca Del Carretto. She also reached the final eight at the 2014 World Championships in Kazan, but lost to Germany's Britta Heidemann. She closed to season World No.1 for the second time in her career.
At the 2016 Summer Olympics Szász won gold medal by beating 15–13 the Italian Rossella Fiamingo in the final. She entered the second round where she beat the Estonian Julia Beljajeva 15–11. In the 1/16 finals she beat the South Korean Kang Jung Mi. In the quarter finals Szász defeated the Japanese Sato Nozomi, while in the semi-final she beat Lauren Rembi of France.
- Orders and special awards
- "Sport Géza – Peking 2008 – Szász Emese". Sport Géza. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- "Emese Szász Olympic results". Sport Reference. Archived from the original on 22 February 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- "Nisima en or". L'Équipe (in French). 8 November 2010.
- SportAccord Combat Games (ed.). "Szasz wins gold in women's epee for Hungary, Kruse takes the title in men's foil for Great Britain". Archived from the original on 2013-10-29.
- "SZÁSZ EMESE A NŐI PÁRBAJTŐR OLIMPIAI ARANYÉRMESE!". Nemzeti Sport. 6 August 2016.
- "Rio Olympics 2016: Emese Szasz wins epee gold for Hungary". BBC Sport. 6 August 2016.