Europeans are to go ahead in Budapest this May
In a letter sent recently, LEN President Paolo Barelli reassured all National Federations that “the European Aquatics Championships will be staged as planned this coming May 2021 in Budapest, on its original dates and with the already announced schedules in each discipline.”
The European Aquatics Championships, postponed from 2020, will be staged in Budapest on 10-23 May this year, this is the core part of the message LEN President Paolo Barelli sent to all National Federations recently.
“LEN is working hard with the Hungarian organisers to ensure that all required sanitary measures will be put in place, respected and fully enforced to guarantee the smooth running of the Championships and the safety of all athletes, coaches, officials and staff. This is indeed LEN’s priority” Mr Barelli said.
The president added that sporting events on the highest level had been staged across Europe and the world, so there were plenty of experience gained – also by LEN officials at the various water polo events held since November – and this makes it possible to go forward with organising LEN’s showcase event.
“The European Aquatics Championships in Budapest will be the first international European top event in swimming, diving, artistic swimming and open water swimming since 2019 and it offers a great testing opportunity for all our athletes before the Olympic Games” Mr Barelli said.
“As usual, we enjoy the full support of the Government” President of the Hungarian Swimming Association Sandor Wladar said. “The meeting of our strategic decision-making group has just finished. We have Sport Minister Tunde Szabo, State Secretary Balazs Furjes and Budapest Mayor Gergely Karacsony on board and they all agreed that the Europeans should go ahead but we have to take the utmost caution as the pandemic is far from over.”
One thing might be missed, however: the magical atmosphere in the Duna Arena, created by the local fans.
“We know that the aquatic family loves to come here as the sights and sounds in the Duna Arena are second to none when we have a full house – but this time we should consider safety first so most probably we have to stage this meet in front of empty stands” Sandor Wladar added.
The first week of the championships from 10-16 May is to see the diving and artistic swimming competitions in the Duna Arena and the open water swimming events in the nearby Lupa Lake, while swimming action is scheduled for 17-23 May in the arena.