Athletes in the International Swimming League (ISL) have been informed that the league’s training camp will likely be in Budapest, Hungary, not in Australia as previously rumored.
Original plans for a 6-month, 27-meet season were compressed down to a 5-week training camp, a decision made this spring as the worldwide coronavirus pandemic shut down most competitive sports for several months. In the early stages, ISL founder Konstantin Grigorishin said that Australia was the frontrunner to host the camp.
But Australia’s current COVID-19 numbers are spiking. The Straits Times reported that Monday saw a record single-day rise in COVID-19 deaths. And Reuters reports that today (Wednesday) was the “deadliest day of the coronavirus pandemic,” with 21 deaths in Victoria alone.
The ISL is now planning to stage its training camp in Budapest, Hungary this fall. (The original dates were roughly set from October 14 to November 17, though that was in the original Australia plan). Athletes have been told that the ISL finale will be held either in Budapest or in Tokyo, Japan in late December. Athletes will have the option to remain in camp in Budapest between the regular season and the final, if they wish.
The original Australia plan had required athletes to quarantine before the camp to prevent the spread of the novel 2019 coronavirus. But athletes are being told no such quarantine is expected to be in place in Budapest.
According to the World Health Organization, Hungary has about 4,731 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 605 deaths. That comes to about 489 cases and 62 deaths per million of population. Australia has about twice as many confirmed cases per million of population (851), but also fewer deaths (12) per million.
In the last seven days, Hungary has reported 187 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a population of about 9.7 million. Australia, meanwhile, has registered 2,984 new confirmed cases in the last seven days across a population of 24.9 million. That means in the past week, Australia has had about six times as many new COVID cases, relative to population, than Hungary has had.