The 19th World Aquatics Championships have begun in Hungary. The hosts and the international federation were looking forward to the event, for which the organizers had only four months to prepare, it was said at an international press conference.
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Hussein al-Mussalam, president of FINA Kuwait, the international aquatics federation, said Hungary deserved a big thank you for creating the conditions for the world championships just four months after the outbreak of the coronavirus, and in the midst of the war in Ukraine.
Defense Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky, who is also responsible for sports, said it was a great honor to receive the world’s best aquatic athletes again like this. He said he was confident that the organizers had done their best and that the athletes would impress everyone with their performances.
Sándor Wladár, president of the Hungarian Swimming Federation and head of the organizing committee, said that when they agreed to host the World Championships at the beginning of February, the task was feasible despite the short time available, and in his opinion, they did it. The winner of the 1980 Moscow Olympics stressed that he expects three or four medals from the Hungarian swimmers in the Danube Arena.
Balázs Fürjes, state secretary for international sporting events, who was appointed to the FINA board last June, stressed that of the five most-watched sports in the world, Hungarian athletes are among the world’s best only in swimming, but after Tuesday’s 4-0 win over England, he is confident that the footballers will soon join them. He expressed hope that the swimming medals at the World Championships would be joined by those of the water polo players.
The World Championships run until July 3rd.
Featured image via Zsolt Szigetváry/MTI