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Attila Kitanovic: «You will be our inspiration!»

27.08.2022
Sad news came recently from Slovakia - the coach of the national mas-wrestling team Marcel Matej passed away.

We are now living in an extremely turbulent time, when each member of our community is looking for a foothold to move forward, when, due to circumstances, we are forced to conduct a difficult dialogue with seemingly old and reliable comrades, with whom we have gone through a difficult path of becoming together for a long ten years.

The news of the premature departure of one of us makes us take a break in the bustle of the life cycle and think about the its meaning. Why do we come into this world? What do we leave behind...

Maťo, as we familiarly called him, dedicated his whole life to sports. He played football when he was at elementary school and in youth teams of Partizán Bardejov.

Strength sports lured him since 1989. He started as bodybuilder but shortly after he was fascinated by powerlifting and bench press. He was devoted to powerlifting for 20 years. 

His first international competition was Junior World Championship in1995 in India. He attended numerous national and international competitions, where he won medals and titles of world and European champions. He is the holder of world and European records that have not yet been broken. 

For his achievements he was in 2009 in the top ten athletes of the Prešov region, and several times he was also among the best athletes of the Bardejov district.

For the last 25 years, he also worked as a coach and prepared his followers for international competitions men, women, youth and also disabled athletes. In 2004, the Minister of Education awarded him the prize for the best youth coach for his long-term successful work. He trained dozens of Slovak, European and world champions who were also holders of world and European records. 

During his work in England in 2005, he prepared athletes in bodybuilding for national championships. He was also devoted as a coach to extreme strength disciplines, strong women. Under his leadership became one of the woman the 4th strongest woman in the world.

He was also in 1996 at the beginning of the Powerlifting and Bodybuilding Club Matej Bardejov. Over 26 years under his leadership athletes won 697 medals, 280 were from international championships. In addition to training athletes, he also worked in a fitness club as a professional certified trainer and sports expert with maximum satisfaction of his clients with his work.

Since 2018 he was interested in new kind of sport - mas-Wrestling. He began to prepare athletes for national and international competitions. In 2019, he became a national team coach in this sport. Under his leadership the Slovak national team won a medal and the title of absolute world champion at the World Cup and World Championships.

It was thanks to his efforts that Slovakia firmly entered the world of mas-wrestling. Mas-wrestling tournaments and championships are regularly held in the country according to all the canons of the sport. It was delightful to see them go by. The design, uniforms of judges and athletes, reports after the event - everything met the requirements of the International Mas-Wrestling Federation and was simply flawless.

Under the leadership of father and son Jan and Marcel Matej, a whole galaxy of the strongest Slovak mas-wrestlers has been trained. The names of Attila Kitanovic, Yana Vaskova, Oliver Kurek, Ema Misovchikova and Martin Lovicek are now known far beyond the borders of Slovakia. Marseille always personally accompanied his team and led the students to the platform himself. He was always calm, balanced, extremely modest and intelligent in communication. An example for everyone.

Unfortunately, the life of our colleague suddenly ended at the age of 50. He passed away quite recently - on August 17th. We have not yet realized this loss.

Young and promising Ema Mishovchikova: «Thanks to him, the rest of us believed in ourselves because he believed. He was always able to be a great support for us at the competition. It's hard to imagine a competition without him, without his smile, good mood and, last but not least, the hope he put into us. It is a great honor for me that I had such a great coach as Marcel. On behalf of the entire Slovak national team, I would like to thank him for everything he did for us, for all the support and knowledge he shared with us. Although he is no longer with us,  he will remain in our hearts forever». 

The leading athlete of the Mas-Wrestling Association of Slovakia Attila Kitanovic wrote: «We will only remember dear Maťa, but believe that in these memories you will be our inspiration, role model and example. You remained in us and in hundreds of your wards. Honor to your memory».                                                                                                                                                                                                                           We, colleagues and friends in different countries around the world, absolutely agree with Attila. We deeply mourn and in these most difficult days we convey the words of sincere condolences and support, first of all, to his father Jan Matej and all relatives and friends.

Blessed memory of Marcel... Rest in peace, dear friend.

Author: Lena Tomskaya
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