Photo: MTI

Government official hails ‘exemplary’ European championships

Tunde Szabo, the state secretary for sports and vice president of the European Swimming League (LEN), has praised Budapest's organisation of the 35th European Aquatics Championships which came to a close over the weekend.

Speaking at a press conference in front of Budapest’s Duna Arena on Monday, Szabo said the event had also served as a “dress rehearsal” for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, arguing that the European athletes who had got used to staying in bubbles could find themselves at an advantage during the Olympic Games.

Szabo said the organisers of the Olympics viewed Budapest’s organisational efforts as an example to be followed. She said LEN officials, including Paolo Barelli, the league’s president, had left Budapest “satisfied” with the event. Barelli, she said, had reassured the government of LEN’s trust in Hungary.

“This is extremely important, given that there are already plans for the major events that can be organised in the future,” she said.

The state secretary congratulated Sandor Wladar, the head of the Hungarian Swimming Association, and a special team of 350 health workers who contributed to the organisation of the event for their efforts to create the safe conditions required to stage the championships.

Wladar hailed Hungary’s successful staging of the event as a “major achievement”, calling it the result of “exemplary” cooperation among the Swimming Association, the government and the event’s organisers. “This can’t be taken away from us now,” he said.

The medal table of the 35th European Aquatics Championships was topped by Britain with 11 golds ahead of Russia with 9 and Italy with 5. Hungary came fourth with also 5 gold medals, out of the total 15 medals won.

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