According to State Secretary for Sport Tünde Szabó, it speaks for itself and is a sports diplomacy success that Hungary is having the opportunity to host several Olympic qualification world championships in the year before the summer games. “Our main goal was to bring as many international sports events as possible to Hungary”, she told reporters at a press conference in Budapest on Wednesday.

The series of worlds championships began with table tennis in April, followed by the fencing world championships in July; in two weeks’ time the best of the kayak-canoe sport will be meeting in Szeged, and in September the elite of the pentathlon world will be facing off in Budapest. The latter three events are also extremely important with relation to participation in the Olympic Games, while last week’s Formula One Grand Prix was important from another perspective.

State Secretary for Sport Tünde Szabó highlighted the fact that 230 thousand people visited the Formula One track in Mogyoród during the race weekend.

“It is uplifting to stand before such a sports-loving crowd. We also welcome many foreign spectators at such times, which it very important from the perspective of sports tourism and the economy”, she said, adding that according to feedback both competitors and teams are happy to come to Hungary.

President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach was in Budapest for the recent fencing world championships, and declared: “Budapest has undoubtedly grown to become one of the world’s most important sports capitals”.

The State Secretary said it was a huge success for sports diplomacy that following the 2017 World Aquatics Championships, Budapest will be able to host the games again in 2027. “It is important with relation to future success to what extent we are able to concentrate on training young sportspeople”, she emphasised.

“It is important to stress that in 2013 we were able to launch a major development programme for individual sports, the effects of which we are already being to feel”, Ms. Szabó said, emphasising that sports development and youth sports training programmes must continue.

Listing the results, she mentioned three of this year’s young world champions: 19-year-old Kristóf Milák, 21-year-old Gergely Siklósi and 22-year-old Kristóf Rasovszky. The Government will be spending 327 billion forints (1 billion euros) on sport next year, she stated.

“This sports funding is extremely diverse. The fact that we are able to spend so much on this field is creating a huge opportunity for sportspeople and for people who make their living in sport”, she highlighted.

The State Secretary pointed out that this sum includes, amongst others, funding for training young athletes and for scholarship programmes, competitive sports, sports facility development, sponsoring international sports events and sport healthcare, and in addition to competitive sports also includes funding for student sports, recreational sport and sport for the disabled.

“Today, we must provide for a great deal of background to achieve each sports success. Sport is the only sector that has a positive effect on every area in an extremely rapid and dynamic manner”, she said. “We would like to pay attention to everyone and everything, and would like to serve people who make a living from sport. If we are able to pay proper attention to this, we will be at a competitive advantage compared to the rest of the world”, the State Secretary said.