During the 17th World Aquatics Championships in Hungary, International Swimming Federation FINA decided on Monday to award the right to host the 2022 World Short Course Swimming Championships to Kazan, Russia, and the 2024 event to the Hungarian capital.

The related agreements were concluded with FINA by Tatarstan’s Minster of Sport Vladimir Leonov, and in representation of Hungary by Minister of Human Capacities Zoltán Balog.

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Thanks to the decision, the number of aquatic world events held in Hungary has increased even further in view of the fact that the Danube Arena will be hosting the World Junior Synchronised Swimming Championships next year, the World Junior Swimming Championships in 2019, while in 2020 the European Aquatics Championships for swimmers, water polo players, synchronised swimmers and divers will also be held in the Hungarian capital.

Mr. Balog highlighted the fact that the investment that the Government and the City of Budapest had made in aquatic sports was seeing a return, particularly in view of the fact that the “pearl” that is the Danube Arena was not constructed for a one-off occasion.

Bids to host the 2022 and 2024 Short Course Swimming Championships had to be submitted last September, and until today’s final decision only Hong-Kong, Taiwan, Russia and Hungary were still in the running to host the competition.

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FINA Vice President Tamás Gyárfás had previously indicated that h wold resign from his post if Hungary’s name was not in one of the envelopes, adding that the fantastic Danube Arena needed as many international competitions as possible to ensure that it was taken full advantage of.

Executive Director of FINA Cornel Marculescu said with regard to the current World Championships in Budapest that it had already transpired within just the first few days that FINA had made the best possible decision when it awarded Budapest the right to host the competition, adding that the venues are beautiful and the fans, who are regularly filling every grandstand, are fantastic.

At the press conference following the announcement, Minister of National Development Miklós Seszták thanked FINA for its confidence in Budapest with which the capital has been given yet another chance to prove itself, adding that he is sure that Hungary will also succeed in hosting a successful world championships in 2024, to which all the foundations are already available given the fact that a major world competition of this nature requires infrastructure and experience.

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Minister of State for Sport Tünde Szabó highlighted the fact the decision is another important step for the Government, which in 2010 set as its goal to host as many major international sports competitions in Hungary as possible.

Government Commissioner for major Budapest development projects Balázs Fürjes said the World Championship was not just being hosted for the event itself, but for everything that is happening with relation to the competition, which is making Budapest an even more beautiful and liveable city. The Commissioner noted that the Danube Arena would still be partially dismantled according to plan, meaning 6500 fans will be able to cheer on the participants of the World Short Course Swimming Championships.

FINA Vice President Tamás Gyárfás said simply: “I’m staying”.

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President of the Hungarian Swimming Association Gusztáv Bienerth declared that wining the bod to host the 2022 World Short Course Swimming Championships was a huge success for which many people have worked, and is a worthy continuation of the serious of major sports events that began with the currently ongoing FINA World Aquatics Championships.

“This is a success for Hungary and the Hungarian people; a success for those who have endured the problems associated with hosting such a major event. We have successfully taken advantage of the fact that the heads of the swimming world are here in Hungary, this opportune moment”, the President of the Hungarian Swimming Association said, adding that today’s decision was also party thanks to the fact that the events of the World Aquatics Championships are going ahead in perfect order.

(Ministry of Human Capacities/MTI)