Pécs hosted the 49th Medic’s Cup between 8-10 April, where students of medical and health science universities competed against each other in various sports. Semmelweis University was represented by 125 students, winning in four categories and in the overall competition, so the cup went to Budapest. In this article, the participants’ stories give a taste of the atmosphere.

In addition to preserving tradition, the event aims to strengthen student and faculty links between higher education institutions in the field of health, and to strengthen the commitment to sport. The tournament was attended by students from four medical universities. Students competed in basketball, handball, volleyball, water polo and football. Women’s football was introduced for the first time this year, and beer pong and sports cheerleading competitions were also organised to entertain the fans.

The students of Semmelweis University won in four categories with an outstanding performance: the teams of both genders came first in basketball and volleyball, as well as in men’s and women’s combined, so they brought the Medic’s Cup to home ground.

They also took silver medals in water polo and men’s handball, and ended up third in men’s football and fourth in women’s handball.

Dr. Béla Merkely, Rector of Semmelweis spoke highly of the students’ performance, as this was their most successful participation in the Medic’s Cup so far. He explained:

Semmelweis University pays particular attention to the fact that students spend their free time actively besides their studies, as sport helps them to concentrate, is essential for a healthy lifestyle and is one of the best tools for community building.

“We owe the overall victory, the Medic’s Cup, to Árpád Jankó’s three-point score in the last seconds of the men’s basketball game, which enabled Semmelweis to have a one-point victory,” said Kornélia Várszegi, Director of the Centre for Physical Education and Sports at Semmelweis University, about the most exciting moment of the sports event.

Last time, the institution hosted the Medic’s Cup in 2018, and Semmelweis will also host the 50th anniversary event next year. As the organisers of this unprecedented success put it: they are all looking forward to the next event toned up, strengthened and with vocal chords glowing.

Through the eyes of students – On-the-spot reports

Melinda Majsai, basketball team captain: “For several years now we have been thinking that we would like to improve and achieve better results both in the Medic’s Cup and in the mid-year championship. For the second year in a row, we have been competing in a tournament organised by the Hungarian University-College Championship (MEFOB), where we play against teams from several universities of big cities. We believe it is important to build a sport community off the pitch as well, so we are not just teammates, we are real friends. The work we have invested has already paid off in the autumn – we managed to achieve 1st place in the 48th Cup after several years, which we could repeat in Pécs at the 49th Medic’s with a liberated and joyful game. We are thankful to our fans for their support; next year at the 50th Medic’s Cup, which will be held on home ground, our primary goal will definitely be to keep the title.

Botond Hajdú, winning basketball player: The atmosphere of the games was phenomenal. Again, we are thankful to the fans for their support over the weekend. It was great to bond with the guys even more; it was amazing to be part of these games either on the field or on the bench, cheering each other on. Of course we didn’t miss the parties either – it was great to meet up with friends from the other three university. Also, to win such a close game with Árpi’s (Árpád Jankó) winning triple was incredible. Everyone rushed in together with the fans, in full ecstasy. It took me a while to realize that we have done it indeed, and then the overall victory made the weekend even more joyful. I am immensely proud of the team and of course, of all our fellow athletes who contributed their hard work and determination to the ultimate success of our university.

Árpád Jankó, basketball hero, pitcher of the winning score: In the autumn, for the first time in Semmelweis University’s history, we joined the MEFOB, the most prestigious championship for universities in Hungary. Every Monday (except January) there is a game, which can be anywhere in the country, depending on the opponent. This weekday afternoon travel was stressful at times, but I believe it helped our team cohesion a lot. As for the Medic’s Cup, it was a great experience from the moment we set off. The vibe on the bus and in the accommodation is hard to beat. The cosy atmosphere in the rooms, getting ready for the evening parties with the team, and the concerts themselves all made the event unforgettable. For all the little sleep we got, on the pitch, we were able to give our best, since everyone genuinely wanted this win. There were moments when the opponent was leading at every match, but we always managed to recover from these situations and eventually, won three victories to receive the gold medal. It feels phenomenal to win, still a bit unbelievable. Semmelweis University hasn’t won in men’s basketball for a very long time, so it’s an extraordinary feeling that this unlucky streak has now been broken. A team has come together where we can count on each other, and everyone was able to add something without which we would not have won. I took the last shot with a 2-point deficit and luckily it worked. It was a great experience, the hall was almost exploding, everyone rushed onto the court and celebrated together. The fact that our victory tipped the scales in Semmelweis University’s favour is a great honour, and a source of great pride. Again, we are grateful for the opportunity and next year, at the 50th Medic’s Cup, I hope that we can defend our title on home ground.

Botond Bényi, Ultra-boss: It is a great honour to share a few thoughts as the leader of the Ultra supporters’ team. I would like to start by congratulating all our athletes on the victory; it was great to cheer on such a successful match. Before the Medic’s Cup, we used to go to university games, writing and learning starters, forging a cohesive team. I feel like our efforts have been justified, as we provided a support worthy of our athletes’ unparalleled performance. I’m incredibly proud of the “Ultras”, who created a great atmosphere at the matches, but I also want to remember the other students, who cheered with great enthusiasm and were present in large numbers. We let off some steam in the evening party and then, some after sleep, some without sleep, continued cheering on Sunday. I hope everyone had such a good a weekend as I had. All of us need some rest, but we will be back with renewed vigour for the matches and the jubilee Medic’s Cup.

Csenge Gecsey, organizer of the Students’ Union: I can tell you that this is the most successful Medic’s Cup ever, in many ways. We all left together for Pécs on Friday at noon with a special shuttle bus. I had an incredible feeling as I saw more and more students showing up, all looking forward to the weekend with great enthusiasm and sparkling eyes. They didn’t even know what was in store for us. By the time we got there, all those students became one big family of supporters; we set off with unbelievable energy to win the Medic’s Cup together. Nearly 550 students travelled from Budapest to Pécs with drums, flags, horns and trumpets to cheer on our athletes. More than 220 of us shared accommodation. 30 over-enthusiastic ultras led the singing of the marching bands, bringing together a huge team of supporters for the games. Glancing at the stands at all sports venues, the proportion of Semmelweises supporters was at least 2/3. No holds barred, we cheered as one at every match. The impressive amount of encouragement, the perseverance and professionalism of the athletes and last but not least, all the hard work put in got Semmelweis University to the point where they became winners of the 49th Medic’s Cup in 2022. Semmelweis University is the organizer of the 50th Medic’s Cup, and rest assured that we will give no less than that.

Orsolya Dávid, Sára-Viola Fülöp, István Pintér
Translation: Viktória Kiss
Photo: Bálint Barta – Semmelweis University