Team USA and Seb Coe WA president handed over the baton to Miklós Gyulai, President of Hungarian Athletics Association (© Photo: Errol Anderson)
Stars of Team USA and Sebastian Coe, President of World Athletics, handed over the baton to Miklós Gyulai, President of the Hungarian Athletics Federation, and drew the attention of the whole world to the fact that Hungary will host the next World Athletics Championships after the World Champs in Oregon.
After six years, the World Championships will return to Europe in 2023 and will be the biggest sporting event in Hungary's history. More than 10,000 accredited participants from over 200 countries will arrive in Hungary, accompanied by tens of thousands of foreign fans, giving a huge boost to Hungarian tourism. There is great interest in world athletics events, with over a billion viewers watching the London and Oregon World Championships on TV and hundreds of millions more on social media, and athletics was the most watched sport at the Tokyo Olympics.
Athletics is made exciting by superheroes such as 22-year-old American Sidney McLaughlin, who dazzled the world with a fantastic world record in the 400m hurdles, and Mondo Duplantis, another 22-year-old from Sweden, who this year broke the world record in the pole vault by 6.21m and, despite his young age, completely rewrote the history of Sergei Bubka. It will be a special experience for Hungarian fans to see the best Hungarian athletes competing in front of a home crowd. They can cheer for Bence Halász, for example, who has just broken the magic 80-metre barrier in the hammer throw in Oregon, setting him on a path that could be very exciting for all Hungarian sports fans at the 2023 World Championships.
"With a team of up to 25 athletes, unprecedented in the history of the World Championships, Hungarian athletics is preparing for the World Championships at home. At the moment, we are doing everything to ensure that our participation is successful and that the impact of the event lasts longer than the wonderful 9 days, i.e. that the World Championships contribute to the strengthening of Hungarian athletics. That is why, in addition to the professional programmes for elite athletes, we have also launched the Kids Athletics Programme, which has already resulted in a third more children taking up athletics in just one year. This is in the social interest as well, as athletics is the foundation of all forms of physical activity and can make a major contribution to the creation of a sporting nation." - said Miklós Gyulai, President of the Hungarian Athletics Federation.
The National Athletics Centre, which will be the main venue for the World Championships, will be completed by spring 2023 and will continue to serve as the most important athletics facility in Hungary and the whole region. After the removal of the temporary stadium stands, the upper part of the stadium will also serve as an important recreational park for the city and the country, and the surrounding area will be completely renewed, becoming the new green lung of Budapest. The World Championships street events, the marathon and the race walk, will also be a special spectacle, with the route leading from Heroes' Square via Andrássy Street to the Parliament and the Danube embankment. The whole world will thus be able to see one of the most beautiful historic parts of Budapest and the Buda Castle in the background.
The World Cup will run from 19 to 27 August 2023, with tickets going on sale this autumn.