Hungarian Chief Says Europeans Moved to 2021; LEN Disputes

The 2020 European Aquatics Champions have been postponed to 2021, according to Hungarian Swimming Federation president Sándor Wladár.  However, a spokesman for LEN – the European governing body for aquatic sports – denies that a decision has been made.

“It may happen in the near future as the Bureau has video conferences on a weekly basis now,” the spokesman told SwimSwam. “The next is due in days so if a decision is reached we’ll communicate it for sure. Until then it’s only rumours and personal opinions.”

The event was originally scheduled for May 11 to 24, 2020 in Budapest, and prior to the Olympic postponement, LEN postponed the championship meet and proposed holding it in August. According to Hungary Today, Wladár said the exact dates in 2021 will be decided November’s LEN congress.

The event includes pool swimming, open water swimming, artistic swimming, and diving. The European water polo championships were held in January with the Hungarian men and Spanish women taking the titles.

When the postponement to August was proposed, LEN president Paulo Barelli said the organization would consider staging the championships in 2021 if the coronavirus situation does not stabilize in the coming months. The long course meet has been held in all even-numbered years since 2000.

As of now, 2021 is scheduled to be a short course European Championship year, with Kazan, Russia having been awarded the bid. That hosting duty is up-in-the-air anyway as the World Anti-Doping Association has recommended that Russia be stripped of all international hosting rights through 2024. Russia is appealing that sentence to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

At the 2018 edition of long course event, Russia, Great Britain and Italy dominated the overall medal standings. Russia swam away with most overall medals in 26, which included 10 gold, 10 silver and 6 bronze medals. Runner-up GBR fell just 2 medals shy, capturing 9 gold, 7 silver and 8 bronze to wind up with 24 overall. Italy rounded out the top 3 nations with a big haul of 22 medals, including 6 gold.

Hungarian National Team members were allowed to resume training in late April after nine tested positive for COVID-19 at federation-sponsored training camps in March. As of Friday, Hungary has 2,863 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 323 deaths.

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About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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