Budapest to set first with LEN hosting rights deal

LEN, the governing body of European swimming, has awarded the Hungarian capital of Budapest hosting rights to its 2020 European Championships across all disciplines.

Budapest will stage the European Water Polo Championships in January, the European Aquatics Championships in May, and the European Open Water Swimming Championships in June. It marks the first time one country has been awarded hosting rights to the three events in the same year.

Budapest’s Dagály Aquatics Centre, which will host the World Aquatics Championships next year, will stage the European Water Polo Championships and European Aquatics Championships in 2020. The venue is currently under construction. The open water event will be held in Lake Balaton.

LEN confirmed that the water polo event would serve as a qualifier for the 2020 summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

In addition, Budapest is set to stage a first-ever European high diving event in August 2020, while the city will also host the European Masters Championships in the swimming, diving and synchronised swimming disciplines in May, and a masters open water event in June.

“The decision the Bureau took today is an appreciation toward the commitment and dedication and the hard work Hungary are doing for aquatic sports,” LEN president Paolo Barelli said. “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.”

The announcement ties in with the Hungarian government’s plans to stage more sporting events in the country. Budapest is one of four cities bidding to stage the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, along with Paris, Rome and Los Angeles.

LEN also confirmed that Kiev in Ukraine would host the 2017 European Diving Championships. The competition will take place at the Liko Sports Centre and will mark the first-ever senior European aquatic event to be held in the country.