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IOC Head Commends Budapest on Olympic Qualifier Series

Int’l Relations

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach lauded Budapest for hosting the second stop in the inaugural Olympic Qualifier Series in a statement issued on Sunday after the four-day best-in-class competition for athletes in BMX freestyle, breaking, sport climbing, and skateboarding came to a close, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

"Congratulations to Budapest. The atmosphere here was great. The event combined the joy of sport, the culture of these urban sports and the athletes' determination to make their individual Olympic dreams come true," Bach said.

"The two stops in Budapest and Shanghai made a perfect first edition of the OQS. Thank you to both hosts for their creativity and determination to make the two events a great success," he added.

Over 150 athletes successfully secured their quota places for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 at the OQS, hosted by Shanghai in May and Budapest in June.

Balázs Fürjes, an IOC member who co-chairs the organizing committee for the contest, said it was a "tremendous honor" for Budapest to host the OQS after Shanghai.

"We are grateful to the Shanghai organizers for getting the OQS off to a great start, and we are proud to have seen it through to its final stage," he added.

The Budapest OQS drew 60,000 spectators to the campus of the Ludovika University of Public Service. Over 450 athletes from more than 120 national federations across all continents competed at the festival-style event.

On Saturday, Pierre Fratter-Bardy, the IOC's associate director for strategy and development, said fans were following the contest at the Ludovika campus with "great enthusiasm", with a younger crowd matching the spirit shown by older fans when Budapest hosted the World Athletics Championships in 2023.

On Sunday, Zsolt Gyulay, the president of the Hungarian Olympic Committee (MOB), said the OQS had appealed to new age groups who showed little interest in the Games until now.

The event was broadcast on television in close to 100 countries and over 200 foreign journalists covered the competition.

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