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Sebastian Coe's 1st Run On The Track Of The World Athletics Championships Budapest 23 (© Zsigmond László)

Athletics

World Athletics chief Coe welcomes perfect stage for world’s best athletes to shine at WCH Budapest ’23

“With the introduction of the super-fast Mondo track of the National Athletics Centre, the stage is set for exhilarating battles and historic performances at the upcoming World Athletics Championships in Budapest,” said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe after running the first lap on the new track, accompanied by local young athletes.

The build up through the one-day meetings of the Wanda Diamond League and the Continental Tour have seen some thrills and spills already.

And you don’t need to wait long for finals. They have been set throughout the Championships from the first day, Saturday 19 August. All athletes are looking for a loud crowd to keep them focused on medals and records.  But a passionate home crowd is super important to Hungarian athletes and their performances. On day one, the men’s shot put is the first final in the stadium – defending champion Ryan Crouser (USA) broke the world record recently and will duel with two-time world champion Joe Kovacs (who may be in a USA vest but has family ties much closer to here – his grandfather is from the village of Szentpéterfa in Hungary).

For those who want a weekend of watching the strongest men in athletics, Sunday 20 August features the men’s hammer throw.

“I don’t need to tell the people of Hungary that there is a huge national tradition in this event. Five of Hungary’s 10 Olympic athletics gold medals are for the hammer. And Hungary’s very own Bence Halász, who won the European Athletics silver medal in Munich last year and bronze at the World Championships in Doha in 2019 will be wanting his home crowd to give him a little extra muscle,” added President Coe.

Sebastian Coe’s inaugural lap at Budapest’s brand new National Athletic Centre (© Zsigmond László)

The National Athletics Centre in Budapest, a brand new, purpose-built facility, is emerging as the Central European region’s athletics stronghold.

“As Budapest and the whole country prepares to welcome athletes from more than 200 countries; for Central European fans this is a unique opportunity to see the world’s best athletes compete in their own region. My message to all of you is don’t miss out. Book your tickets and your place in history now,” – added the World Athletics President.

This historic occasion marks the first time in the 40-year history of the World Athletics Championships that a Central European country has been granted the opportunity to host the world’s third-largest sporting event.

“We are organising the biggest sporting event of the year, and the level of interest we have already witnessed is extraordinary. With tens of thousands of international fans and our very own passionate Hungarian supporters, we have already sold over 190,000 tickets. The World Championships will be broadcast to an estimated one billion viewers worldwide, bringing immeasurable value and pride to Hungary,” stated Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky, Minister of Defence and responsible for Sport and the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23 organisation.

The Minister encouraged fellow sports enthusiasts to witness the remarkable performances of Hungarian athletes firsthand, cheering them on throughout the thrilling opening weekend and celebrating their potential podium finishes.

On Saturday, the track that witnessed Sebastian Coe’s inaugural lap will be open for everyone to experience, ahead of the world’s top athletes competing in August. The National Athletics Centre’s family opening day on June 17 invites participants to enjoy the track and engage in races, free of charge. Additionally, participants can seize the opportunity to purchase tickets for the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, from August 19 to 27, at an exclusive 50% discount. Secure your tickets now at tickets.wabudapest23.com.

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