Mascot revealed with 150 days to go till 2020 Europeans
The Hungarian Swimming Association held a year-ending gala, also a celebration of the 150 days to go mark till the European Aquatics Championships in May. LEN President Paolo Barelli was also present at the event and received the first specimen of the mascot, an otter called Alfred.
The Hungarian swimming family celebrated the 150 days to go mark in style at Budapest before the 2020 European Aquatics Championships. The gala was also a year-ending party where the heroes of the 2019 season, Katinka Hosszu, Boglarka Kapas, Kristof Milak and Krisof Rasovszky were rewarded and some exciting details of the upcoming continental showcase were also revealed.
LEN President Paolo Barelli took part in the grand event – with Operating Director Marco Birri being also present, having conducted a site visit in the previous days – and praised the locals’ efforts both in and outside the pool.
“Hungary is one of the strongest nations in aquatics with outstanding traditions, huge successes in the pool and a fantastic partner of LEN in hosting our major events from time to time” the LEN President said in his speech. Mr Barelli recalled the recent shining of the Magyar stars at the World Championships and at the European Short-Course Swimming Championships adding, “we all know that the Hungarian Government offers firm support for the local sport and aquatics have a special place here but we all see that your swimmers constantly deliver brilliant results as a great return.”
HSA President Sandor Wladar said that Hungary loves to set records, having four individual world champions this summer in Korea was a best-ever performance at a single edition. In 2020 the country will pass another historical milestone with the 6th European Aquatics Championships to be staged in Budapest next May since 1926 (and a third stand-alone European Water Polo Championships soon in January) – no other nation has such a hosting record in LEN’s history.
The showcase will be held in the Duna Arena, site of a series of major events since its inauguration in 2017. The state-of-the art complex will host the competitions in swimming (11-17 May), diving (18-24 May) and artistic swimming (20-24 May) while open water swimming (20-24 May) in the nearby Lupa Lake, a new venue for this discipline.
The organisers revealed the mascot of the championships, an otter called Alfred (honouring Hungary’s first-ever swimming Olympic champion Alfred Hajos) – and head of the OC David Szanto presented the first specimen to President Paolo Barelli on stage as the highlight of the evening.