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Hungary hosts 2,000 sports stars for the World Athletics Championships

An athlete runs past cutouts of the games' mascot, Youhuu, a native Hungarian sheep, at the National Athletics Centre, Budapest, August 18, 2023
An athlete runs past cutouts of the games' mascot, Youhuu, a native Hungarian sheep, at the National Athletics Centre, Budapest, August 18, 2023 Copyright Ashley Landis/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Ashley Landis/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Ádám Magyar with AP
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Tens of thousands of fans are expected to watch the world's finest track and field stars in nine days of competition.

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The sporting world’s spotlight will shine on Hungary from Saturday when the nine-day World Athletics Championships get underway in Budapest.

The 650 million euro National Athletics Centre, on the left bank of the Danube River, will host more than 2,000 athletes from over 200 countries in the biggest sporting event this side of the Olympics.

It is a proud moment for a country of 9.7 million people.

Ádám Schmidt, State Secretary for Sport, told Euronews there would be more than one billion viewers tuning into the event.

"And just looking at the people who will be coming here to cheer on the athletes, there are more than 50,000 of them from 103 countries," he said. 

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe said hosting such events would benefit for the overall population.

“Do countries use sports? Of course, they do. Every country wants to showcase itself through sport,” Coe said.

“The one thing I can tell you is that I’ve never been involved in a sport that’s gone anywhere, particularly into challenging environments, where it has left that society politically, culturally, socially worse off.”

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