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“We Are the Home of Sport”- Closing Ceremony of the World Athletics Championships

Hungary Today 2023.08.28.

The closing ceremony of the World Athletics Championships in Budapest was held after the last final on Sunday. Speeches were delivered by World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, and CEO of Budapest 2023 Nonprofit Zrt., the organizer of the World Championships, Balázs Németh.

There was no shortage of activity on the last day of the World Athletics Championships. In the morning, the men’s marathon was the main event, and in the evening, seven finals were held. The only Hungarian competitor on Sunday was Levente Szemerei, who finished the morning marathon in 40th place.

Levente Szemerei (C). Photo via MTI/Derencsényi István

The closing ceremony was preceded by finals in seven events. The women’s 800m race was won by Mary Moraa of Kenya. The women’s 3000m steeplechase gold went to Winfred Mutile Yavi of Bahrain. The men’s 4x400m relay was won by the American team (Rai Benjamin, Justin Robinson, Vernon Norwood, and Quincy Hall). In the women’s 4x400m relay, the gold medal was awarded to the Dutch relay team (Femke Bol, Cathelijn Peeters, Lieke Klaver, and Eveline Saalberg). In the men’s javelin throw Neeraj Chopra of India was the winner, and in the women’s high jump Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchih took the gold.

Ukrainian high jump winner Yaroslava Mahuchih. Photo via MTI/Czeglédi Zsolt

As soon as Sunday’s program of competitions came to an end, the organizers were getting ready for the closing ceremony, meanwhile mascot Youhuu entertained spectators with roller-skating and waving the Hungarian flag. Then, when the stage was set, several athletes from the World Championships, team members, volunteers, and members of the organizing committee entered the stadium to applause, and after a lap of honor, stood in the middle of the pitch. Then came a speech by Balázs Németh, CEO of Budapest 2023 Nonprofit Zrt.

Balázs Németh, CEO of Budapest 2023 Nzrt., organizer of the World Athletics Championships in Budapest (L) and Sebastian Coe, President of the World Athletics. Photo via  MTI/Tibor Illyés

“I hope you enjoyed the last nine days, it was a very memorable time for us. The 2023 World Championship in Budapest was a unique and special World Championship, full of experiences. Nobody expected such a success, but this could not have happened without the support of you, the athletes and the volunteers. This is the end of the fairy tale: Tokyo, next in 2025, it is your turn,” emphasized Németh in his speech.

Then two-time Olympic champion middle distance runner and World Athletics (WA) President Sebastian Coe continued on stage.

This is the fortieth anniversary of the first World Athletics Championships, and for this we had to find an impressive host. With Budapest we found it,”

noted Coe.

He said that “no one can doubt that this is not a World Championship city.” The president praised the organizing committee, the fans, and thanked everyone while concluding his speech.

World Cup mascot Youhuu, a Hungarian racka breed sheep, and Sebastian Coe. MTI/Tibor Illyés

After Coe’s statements, the flag of WA was officially handed over to the representatives of the next World Championships, Tokyo, amid a light show and clouds of smoke, thus bringing the biggest sporting event in Hungary’s history to an end.

Representatives of the next host city, Tokyo, wave the flag of the World Championships. Photo via MTI/Tibor Illyés

As the one of a kind, nine-day-long event has come to an end, the leaders of Hungary have applauded the organizers and everyone who was involved in the preparations. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán wrote on his Facebook page that “Hungary has proved itself again. Thank you for the work of the organizers and volunteers!”

Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, expressed his pride and said that “We are the home of sport.”

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Featured photo via MTI/Koszticsák Szilárd

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