According to Minister of National Development Miklós Seszták, the organisers are providing everything to ensure that the FINA World Aquatics Championships beginning in Hungary on Friday will be perfect.
At the international event’s press conference on Tuesday, Mr. Seszták, who is also the Chairman of the organising committee, pointed out that Hungary had to prepare to host the competition in record speed after the original host, Mexico, withdrew.
“We will be working until the very last minute, but these are just the finishing touches. We are providing everything to assure a perfect competition, but it is the athletes who will have to perform”, he added. The Minister emphasised that the cost of hosting the World Championships was 46.4 billion forints (EUR 150M), in addition to which permanent development projects were realised in Budapest and at Lake Balaton at a cost of over 84 billion forints (EUR 271M).
According to Mr. Seszták, the World Championships provides an opportunity for Hungary to “show its face”, and everything is given to enable Budapest and Balatonfüred to host the “most beautiful World Championships with the best atmosphere”.
“This is all about solidarity, the talent of Hungarians and keeping promised”, he added, ending his speech with the words: “Go Hungarians, Go Hungary!”.
President of the International Swimming Federation (Fédération Internationale de Natation, FINA) Julio C. Maglione said he was sure that the current World Championships would be the greatest in FINA’s history.
“Hungary is one of the most wonderful countries in the world, and Budapest is magical, as are the people who live here”, he declared, praising his welcome and Hungarian hospitality. “An aquatic sport tops the list of Olympic sports in view of the fact that 49 gold medals will be awarded in swimming at the next Olympic Games”, he added.
President Maglione expressed his particular thanks to FINA Vice president Tamás Gyárfás, stressing that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán “is still working to ensure the wide success of the Hungarian World Championships”.
Executive Director of FINA Cornel Marculescu spoke about the favourable economic effects of the World Aquatics Championships, including television ratings, explaining that for instance the 2013 championships in Barcelona was watched by 4.5 billion people, while the 2015 event in Kazan, Russia was watched on television by 6.7 billion people. FINA is also expecting “very high television ratings” from the Hungarian World Championships, he added.
Government Commissioner for major development projects in Budapest Balázs Fürjes stressed that everything would be ready in time for the opening ceremony of one of the world’s most important sports events, listing more water surfaces, cycling paths and green areas as some of the positive benefits of hosting the World Championships.
“The new facilities have not been constructed primarily for the World Championships, in view of the fact that after the event they will be used by athletes and the general public”, he said, thanking the people of Budapest for their patience and understanding with regard to the unavoidable inconveniences that go hand in hand with preparations for an event of this calibre.
The final speaker at the press conference, FINA Vice president, Vice President of the Hungarian Olympic Committee and former President of the Hungarian Swimming Association Tamás Gyárfás simply said: “Thank you to everyone”, adding that he hopes the performances and results speak for themselves.
At the close of the media event, the World Championship medals were introduced, designed by Hungarian artist László Ördögh, the first two of which, a gold medal each, were presented to Julio C. Maglione and Cornel Marculescu by Minister of National Development Miklós Seszták.
Photo: MTI, kormany.hu
Source: Ministry of National Development/MTI