More than 5000 spectators at the test event of the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23
Two national records, 118 individual personal bests, an Olympic qualification standard achieved by Luca Kozák and a great atmosphere during the finals on Saturday evening – these were the highlights of the 128th Hungarian Athletics Championships. For the first time, Hungarian athletes were able to compete in the brand-new National Athletics Centre, gaining valuable experience for the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, which start on August 19. It also marked a significant milestone for the organisers, as the test event for the World Championships.
Over 5000 spectators visited the National Athletics Centre in the two days. They got a taste of the unique experience they will have at the World Athletics Championships in August, when 35,000 people will be in the stands at the same time. As well as the organisers and spectators, the athletes could also appreciate the event through the lens of the future event.
“The track is very good, I don’t feel like I’m at a National Championships, rather at a very serious competition. It’s a big stadium and I saw a lot of people out there, which gives us extra energy,” said Kozák, who defended her Hungarian title in the 100m hurdles and achieved the Paris 2024 Olympic qualifying standard.”
She added: “Anna and Gréta performed very well (Anna Tóth and Gréta Kerekes, finished second and third in the final). I don’t know how many countries have had a National Championships where the first three runners were within 13 seconds. It’s a psychological barrier for us, Anna was under it for the first time. It was an excellent race.”
World indoor champion shot putter Anita Márton tuned up for the World Championships with a double victory and the best result since the birth of her daughter. “I really like the stadium, the conditions are good, everything went smoothly, so far everything has been fine,” she said.
World bronze medallist hammer thrower Bence Halász also tested the World Championships track with a victory, saying: “This pitching circle has one of the best surfaces in the whole world, very few places have such good facility. The World Championships field in Budapest will be strong, whoever comes to compete here, they will all be very good.”
Bence Halász has previously stated that he expects to win a medal at the World Championships. “I know that I still have a lot of potential, I can go over 80 metres again at the World Championships, which could be enough for anything,” he said.
Balázs Németh, CEO of Budapest 2023 Nzrt, happily confirmed the success of the test event. “This is a wonder! The athletics centre was finally full of life, we got a taste of the World Championships atmosphere, and I think the competitors and spectators were amazed by the venue. We now have six weeks – even more hard work than before – of organising the event before we start on August 19, just 41 days from now. The last two days have only reinforced my conviction that this is not something anyone should miss.”
From August 19-27, the Budapest World Athletics Championships will take place over nine days at the National Athletics Centre and in the centre of Budapest, where the marathon and the race walking will be held. Over 220,000 tickets have already been sold for the biggest sporting event in Hungary’s history and tickets are still available for most days at tickets.wabudapest23.com.
The first night of the World Championships is a highly anticipated event, with the opening ceremony and a surprise gift for spectators to mark the special occasion. The World Athletics Championships will feature a series of exciting events, with finals taking place every day, starting on the first day. A significant number of Hungarian participants are expected, so there will be Hungarians on the track every night to be cheered on by the home crowd.
Catch up with more news relating to the World Champs in Budapest here.