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Budapest to Host First Ever World Athletics Ultimate Championship in 2026

MTI-Hungary Today 2024.06.04.
The National Athletics Center in the capital

Budapest will host the first World Athletics Ultimate Championship in September 2026, which will be the highlight event of the season.

Sebastian Coe, President of World Athletics (WA), personally negotiated and concluded an agreement with Ádám Schmidt, State Secretary for Sport at the Ministry of Defense, and jointly announced the news on Monday in Budapest. Coe emphasized that

400 competitors from almost 70 countries, including some of the biggest stars, will be competing.

WA is setting up the World Athletics Ultimate Championship to ensure that every year when there is no World Athletics Championships, the sport has a prestigious event that is watched around the world.

State Secretary Ádám Schmidt (L), President of WA Sebastian Coe (C) and Balázs Fürjes (R), member of the International Olympic Committee, Photo: MTI/Honvédelmi Minisztérium Sportért Felelõs Államtitkársága

Coe also told Ádám Schmidt that Budapest was awarded the first so-called Ultimate Championship partly because the Hungarian capital hosted the best ever outdoor World Athletics Championships last year. As it turned out, there was fierce competition for the role of host, with several major cities applying.

“For the World Athletics Ultimate Championship, we were looking for a host city that could be a world-class partner for this exciting new initiative and showcase the sport in an engaging way to fans from around the world.

Budapest has already proven that it can do this, thus we are delighted that the Hungarian capital will be the starting point for the series,”

underlined the World Athletics President.

The tournament, with a total prize fund of USD 10 million, will take place from September 11-13, 2026. The program will be three hours long on each of the three days, with Olympic and world champions, and Diamond League winners. All disciplines of the sport will be represented at the event.

Coe noted that

the top event, which is scheduled to take place every two years, will include semi-finals and finals, creating a strong competitive environment for the best athletes.

“The Ultimate Championship will be full of action and excitement for fans and will create a new level of athletics competition,” added Coe. “With the biggest stars in the field, it will be a race not to be missed, while at the same time we will make athletics a world-class event every year.”

“It is a great pride and a great sporting diplomatic success that the World Athletics thought Budapest could be a worthy host for the first World Athletics Ultimate Championship,” said the State Secretary. “After the 2023 World Athletics Championships, (…) the Hungarian sports administration started discussions with the international federation on how to keep Hungary in the athletics bloodstream. The Hungarian Athletics Association and the National Event Management Agency (NRÜ) were involved in the negotiations, and the Hungarian government agreed to support Budapest as the first host of the new series. Our aim is that, like the World Championships, this new event will have a positive long-term impact on Hungarian sporting life.”

All participating athletes will benefit from the prize money, while the winners of the Ultimate Championship will receive USD 150,000.

In 2026, Budapest will be in the spotlight, not only for the unprecedented athletics competition, but also for the final of the Champions League. As it was announced, the 2026 UEFA Champions League final will be held in the capital’s Puskás Arena, marking the first time Hungary will host club football’s most prestigious match.

Budapest's Puskás Arena to Host the 2026 Champions League Final
Budapest's Puskás Arena to Host the 2026 Champions League Final

Sándor Csányi, President of the Hungarian Football Federation (MLSZ), expressed his pride and satisfaction.Continue reading

Via MTI; Featured image via Facebook/Nemzeti Atlétikai Központ

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