Hungary and its capital “made history” through organising and holding the 19th World Aquatics Championships during the past two weeks, Balázs Fürjes, state secretary at the prime minister’s office and board member of the international water sports federation FINA, told a press conference on Monday.
Fürjes noted that the country had a mere four and a half months to prepare for the event attended by over 10,000 people. Foreign visitors spent some 77,000 guest nights in Budapest, he said, adding that “it did especially good to tourism” following recession in the sector caused by the coronavirus pandemic. He also added that the championships had been followed by over 2 billion people on television and online.
Budapest has become “an international sports capital”, Fürjes said, insisting that “nobody else could organise international sports events faster and more efficiently”.
“Budapest is the only capital in the world to host three world championships in 10 years,” he said, noting that in 2027 another FINA world competition would be held in Hungary.
Ádám Schmidt, state secretary for sports, thanked “all Hungarians” for their support to hold the event. He said “it has again been proven that if there is cooperation we will succeed in anything”. He also thanked visitors attending the events and FINA for giving Hungary the opportunity.
“I thank the government for its reacting fast and well in a difficult situation,” he said, referring to government help with the preparations made on short notice.