Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee Member from Hungary

Though the grand opening is scheduled for May, the brand new aquatic centre in Budapest, the main venue of the FINA World Championships 2017, is ready to welcome the athletes. Today it was officially announced that it would bear the name of Danube Arena.

It was a busy day in Budapest, host city of the 2017 FINA World Championships. In the morning Prime Minister Viktor Orban received FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu and FINA Vice-President Tamas Gyarfas in his office in the Parliament.

Miklos Sesztak, Minister of National Development, Chairman of the Budapest 2017 OC was also present at the meeting.

The parties agreed that in Hungary everything is given to stage the best ever FINA World Championships. A argument that was proved by the fast and efficient way the new Arena was constructed for the 2017 FINA World Championships in record time. 

FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu and Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Budapest

Today wasn’t the grand opening as there should be a testing period before the whole complex opens all its doors, however, the warm-up pool – also a full Olympic size pool – is ready to welcome the swimmers for practice.

At the event, Government Commissioner Balazs Furjes, responsible for the construction, announced that the complex is named Danube Arena.

He recalled that FINA had had its trust in Hungary when it had re-allocated the 2017 event to Budapest when not even proper plans were in hand.

“However, we proved once more, that international federations could rely on us, Hungarians, as we are keeping our promises. Few would have believed last May, when we laid down the cornerstone here, that we would be ready on time, or now let me say, two months before the deadline set, while keeping the cost plans.”

FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu also praised the constructors in his speech at the event.

“I’ve never witnessed something similar in the past, to deliver a construction like this on such a short term. To tell the truth, when I’m here, I don’t feel I’m in a swimming pool. This place is much more than just a pool. It’s a masterpiece, a perfect setting for the World Championships in the summer.”

Soon after Mayor Istvan Tarlos handed over the keys of the Arena to three-time Olympic champion Katinka Hosszu who later inaugurated the first pool together with Hungary’s other swimming greats like world champion Laszlo Cseh, Olympic champion Daniel Gyurta, world short-course champion Peter Bernek who swam a virtual race.

The athletes agreed that they couldn’t wait the moment to take their marks in the main pool on 23 July, Day 1 for the swimming competitions at the 2017 FINA World Championships.