Budapest to stage all disciplines of European Aquatics Championships in 2020
Budapest, the Hungarian capital bidding to stage the 2024 Olympic Games, has been awarded hosting rights to the prestigious European Aquatics Championships in 2020.
At a meeting of its bureau on Saturday, LEN, swimming's European governing body, unanimously backed the bid from the Hungarian Swimming Association to stage the European Water Polo Championships in January 2020, the LEN European Aquatics Championships (swimming, synchronised swimming and diving) in May, and the open water event a month later.
The Water Polo Championships and European Aquatics Championships will both be staged in the new aquatic centre, which is being built for Budapest's hosting of swimming's 2017 FINA World Championships. It features two Olympic size pools and a diving pool, and will accommodate 5,000 spectators (it will have a seating capacity of 15,000 for the world championships).
The European Open Water Swimming Championships will be held in nearby Lake Balaton in late June, when the weather is milder.
A proposal has also been submitted to LEN to stage the first European High Diving Championships on 20 August, 2020 - a national holiday in Hungary - using the same temporary facility being constructed for the 2017 World Championships.
High diving debuted at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona and was a spectator hit at last year’s event in Kazan, Russia.
It has yet to form part of a European Aquatics Championships, largely because there is not a large number of elite participants on the continent.
Paolo Barelli, president of LEN, said: "The decision the bureau took is an appreciation toward the commitment and dedication and the hard work Hungary are doing for aquatic sports. The Hungarian organisers proved a handful of times in the past that they were capable of delivering really high level events in all disciplines. We are always happy to return here as we will have another world-class facility, and you can hardly find any other place where you have so many training pools in such a close proximity as in Budapest.”
Tamas Gyarfas, president of the Hungarian Swimming Association, added: “We have the Worlds next year, the junior swimming Worlds in 2019 and now we are honoured to become the hosts of the 2020 Europeans. We will do our utmost to bring our best once again.. And we have to find something for 2021."
Budapest previously held the European Aquatics Championships in 1926, 1958, 2006 and 2010, albeit after 1999 the championships no longer included water polo, which staged its own competition.
- The LEN bureau awarded the 2017 European Diving Championships to Kiev. It will be the first senior European aquatics event to take place in Ukraine.