The most romantic moment of the World Athletics Championships will long be remembered. On Thursday, at the center of Budapest, Hana Burzalova, competing in the women’s 35 km walk, was met at the finish line by her athlete partner, who proposed to her on the spot in front of the cameras, reports Hirado.hu.
Slovakia’s Dominik Černý finished in 19th place in the men’s 35 km race, while his partner Hana Burzalova finished in 28th place in the women’s race with a time of 3:02.47, her best of the year. As it turned out, the 22-year-old athlete was not only met with her own record at the finish line, but also with her partner Černý, who kneeled down to receive her with a ring and proposed to her. Burzalova’s answer was a resounding yes.
The World Athletics Championships in Budapest have a number of social aspects in addition to the athletes’ achievements. On Tuesday and Wednesday, young athletes from earthquake-stricken areas of Turkey came to the event in Budapest to cheer on the elite athletes live.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake left tens of thousands of people dead after devastating several cities in Turkey in February. Athletes aged between 10 and 14 were invited to Hungary in early March by the organizers of the World Athletics Championships in Budapest.
“I came from Adana. A region that was also affected by the earthquake. I do pole vault. I really like this place and I have a very good first impression of Budapest,” said one of the Turkish girls. The children’s first trip took them to one of the World Athletics Championships’ supporters’ zones, where they were able to try out the 100m sprint and start. The braver ones even got to experience what it must feel like to be a professional pole vaulter at 6 meters.
Thank you to the Hungarian people for having us here. I come from Malatya, I am a long distance runner. I really like the fan zone and I am very happy to be here,”
said one of the Turkish boys.
The children from Turkey spent three days in Budapest, visiting the biggest sporting event in Hungary’s history and seeing the sights of the capital.
The National Athletics Center in Budapest. Photo: MTI/Illyés Tibor
From Hungary, the Regőczi Foundation has arranged for more than 140 families to cheer on the Hungarian athletes at the World Championships. The founder of the foundation, former President János Áder, and his wife, Anita Herczegh, chairwoman of the foundation’s board of trustees, visited the National Athletics Center on Wednesday with the families for the evening program of the World Cup.
Anita Herczegh (L in the middle) with her husband, former President János Áder. Photo: MTI/Czeglédi Zsolt
“The Regőczi Foundation supports children orphaned or half-orphaned by COVID, and we currently have more than 1,300 beneficiaries. We need to provide them not only with financial support, but also with cultural opportunities and participation in sporting events, because they would not be able to do this on their own,” Anita Herczegh told MTI.
The World Athletics Championship in Budapest seems to be a huge success, and according to aggregate figures, the audience has reached and is expected to exceed that of the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London. Budapest is forecast to break the record of more than one billion spectators worldwide and the highest ever attendance in the history of the championship, recalled Zoltán Kovács, State Secretary for International Communication.
According to experts, the event attracts hundreds of thousands of people to Hungary, strengthening tourism in the country. Experts estimate that 340,000 nights will be spent by fans during this time, many of whom will stay after the championships.
“The scenario we dreamed and worked for over the past year has come true, I wanted the World Athletics Championships to cover Hungary by August, and everyone to want to witness the miracle, and that is where we are now,” said Balázs Németh, CEO of the organizer company, the Budapest 2023 Zrt.
Featured photo via Twitter/World Athletics