Budapest Ready To Host Olympics, Says World Athletics President

  • 29 Aug 2023 8:24 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Budapest Ready To Host Olympics, Says World Athletics President
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said has said that he was satisfied with the World Athletics Championships held in Budapest in all respects, and he considered Hungary ready to host the Olympics, and he personally encouraged the country to mount a bid.

Coe told an international press conference that Budapest had hosted an event of the highest quality.

“This is an ambitious city, this is an ambitious country, and I have no reason to doubt they would put up a very credible bid,” he said commenting on a potential bid by Budapest to host the Olympics.

“I can’t remember a better atmosphere at a world championship,” he added.

Coe said most international ticket sales had gone to British, German, US, French and Spanish fans, and more than half a billion people followed the televised events during the first half of the championships.

State secretary for sports Ádám Schmidt told the press conference that he hoped the many sports diplomats and sports managers who attended the world championships and personally experienced its quality in Budapest would support Hungary’s endeavour to host the Olympics.

Official: World Athletics Shows 'Global Success of Joining Forces'

The World Athletics Championships in Budapest showed the global success of joining forces, the co-leader of the organising committee said.

Balázs Fürjes told MTI that the success of the “largest ever sports event in Hungary” was clear from the key figures.

Over 2,200 athletes from 195 countries competed at the event and the number of trainers and additional team members was well above 5,000, he said.

Some 2,500 Hungarian volunteers offered their services to fans and participants, with fans coming from more than 120 countries, he added.

The number of tickets sold was above 400,000, exceeding the expectation of the World Athletics international organisation, he said.

During the nine days of the championships, the average occupancy of the events venue was over 95% during the evening finals and the majority of finals were sold out, he said.

Fürjes said on Facebook earlier that in agreement with WA president Sebastian Coe, he had proposed granting an International Fair Play award to the volunteers who assisted at events during the championships.

Mayor: Athletics Championships Would Not Have Been Possible Without City's Support

Without Budapest’s support, Hungary could not have hosted the recent World Athletics Championships, Mayor Gergely Karácsony said on Facebook.

Karácsony noted that the city had granted its approval to hosting the championships in return for major development projects financed from central coffers.

He said the city council had made the right decision to support the event, but added that the city was also right when it had “resorted to firm means” to make the government honour their agreement when “it seemed that plans for a park pledged to be built after the championships end became questionable and when health developments seemed to be forgotten.”

Those health developments are coming next, he said, adding that the Athletics Centre built for the championships must now become available for residents’ recreation and sports activities.

“That is what we agreed on and we will stick to it,” Karácsony said. The event itself, “was a real success. Thanks and congratulations to the organisers, a multitude of volunteers and all those that contributed to that success story including Budapest residents!”

MTI Photo: Tibor Illyés

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