Sport news: Hungary awarded FINA worlds; more resources for equestrianism

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From the world of sports, a couple items from the weekend on a pair of Hungary’s favorite competitive pastimes. First up: With the opening of the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona on Friday, the governing body for swimming announced the awarding of the 2021 games to Budapest.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was on hand to present the Budapest bid, as was currently embattled Gwangju, Korea, Mayor Kang Un-Tae; Un-Tae is currently facing charges of forgery related to the city’s bid for the event. As part of the award, Budapest will also host the 2017 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships.

FINA officials were likely swayed by the promise of a new aquatic center in Budapest, though the Korean and Hungarian bids were uncontested in the final round. Proposals were also submitted by Japan, Azerbaijan and the United Arab Emirates. The 2015 championship will be held in Kazan, Russia, and the 2017 competition is slated for Guadalajara, Mexico.

As of Monday morning at the 2013 FINA Worlds, Team Hungary has not managed to medal in six events thus far completed, but men’s water polo, in which they’re perpetual favorites, begins today. 

On dry land, meanwhile, Fidesz Spokeswoman Gabriella Selmeczi announced her party’s ambitious plan for equestrian sport and activity in opening the Lipizzaner Festival in Szilvásvárad on Saturday. Selmeczi was quoted at MTI as stating that the current government wishes to “foster Hungarian culture’s deep love for horses” and that “equestrian sport and equestrian tourism bring visitors to Hungary and create jobs.”

With equestrianism already a feature in the Hungarian core primary-school curriculum, Selmeczi said that a next step is to have riding therapy covered by national health insurance and that a continuous riding trail of 1,140 kilometers is planned for in upcoming legislation. The Lipizzaner (or “Lipicai”) Festival celebrates the Hapsburg-bred horse, a breed which is specifically for sporting purposes.

Hungary was the venue for the CSIO Budapest Grand Prix earlier this month and is set to host a three-day Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) event in late November/early December.

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