Soma Ferenc Kovács – started his studies at Harvard University in the USA

At that time, after the medal ceremony, In Israel, Soma said: "After the ceremony, I got the Hungarian flag around my neck and ran a circle of honour with it. It was one of my biggest dreams. Now I'm just focusing on the World Athletics Championships in Budapest!"

Indeed, the hard work paid off, as Soma achieved his best individual time in the 5000 meters in front of his home crowd at his first adult world competition, with a time of 14:11:99. At the age of 19, he was able to compete against the best in the world, and there is no doubt that in a short time Soma will also be among the best in the world.

Shortly after the World Championships in Budapest, the young athlete had another big task ahead of him, as Soma is not only at the forefront of sports, but also in his studies, and as a result he was admitted to Harvad University in the USA, so from September he will be able to continue his studies - and sports - in Boston, one of the best universities in the world.

We talked to him about his first month, integration and experiences: "I definitely had positive impressions out here from the very first moment. I am no stranger to American educational culture, as I completed my 2021-2022 academic year, the 11th grade of high school, in America. Then I live, study and play sports in Virginia and now in Boston. Harvard operates a very professional system, because we don't have to concentrate on anything except studying, everything is very well organized. We all live in dormitories, so to speak, we don't have a "walk-in" partner. As for the meal, it can also be called impeccable, everyone will find dishes to their own taste. Harvard is an alma mater with so many talented and hardworking students and athletes in one place, which is very motivating for me."

In addition to his general experience, we also asked Soma about the new stage of his sports career: "I continue sports within the framework of the University. America has a long tradition of college sports. Our cross-country team is on an upward trajectory, especially in the last few months. At the start of the school year, we were ranked 14th in the country, and at the competition in Madison at the beginning of October we finished 6th, as a result of which we moved up to 7th place in the rankings. This is a peak in Harvard history. Never before has the University had a team ranked so high on the leaderboard."

Soma has a great opportunity to develop not only as a team, but also individually. "It is common practice in university leagues to sign experienced athletes who have achieved good results in order to achieve better results. Accordingly, I have the opportunity to compete against runners from Ethiopia and Kenya. I am looking forward to the period ahead. The team and I will compete in national finals in Virginia, our primary goal is to finish in the top 2 in regional races to reach the final. Cross-country running is not my specialty, but rather the track numbers (1500 m, 3000 m, 5000 m), but all these races will provide a good preparation basis for my further preparation. I hope to make my indoor debut in December or January and February next year."

And what it means to be a "Harvard student" and how Soma's future might develop after graduating from the prestigious university, the young athlete gives a definite answer: "I get to study alongside perhaps the best students in the world at lectures and seminars, which means a lot to me. Stepping out into the world of work, the University can open many doors for me. In sport, I want to reach the championship finals and even the podium. My goal is also to take part in many competitions in Europe, competing at a high level and professionally. And to achieve this, everything is given here. The quality of the infrastructure, the quality of the coaches, I have almost 4 years to achieve these goals."

Soma's philosophy of life is: "You have to go among people who are better than you, from whom you can learn a lot, who motivate you!" This proves that Soma is in a good place at Harvard University, and his skills, dedication and humility will definitely bring him a future through which he too will become a role model, a successful athlete and a human being.