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What to expect in Balatonfüred during the World Championships

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  • Mizsei Bernadett

7/14/2017 10:55 AM

The 17th FINA World Championships, which will partly take place in Balatonfüred, starts in a few days. The open water competitions’ tracks will be in the bay in front of Tagore Promenade, while the bike trail and part of the promenade will be closed down, and those who will be in Balatonfüred during the event will have to keep an eye out for a few more changes as well. We collected all the necessary information complete with pictures that were taken on the spot recently.

Those who will arrive to Balatonfüred during the FINA World Championships won’t have to expect too many traffic restrictions, however, Tagore Promenade will be partially closed down as the booths and containers serving the competitions will be there. The bicycle path will also be closed during the event. The open water competitions will be held from July 15 to 21 – visitors can watch these from the temporary bleachers. The exact location of the tracks is the dock of Balatonfüred, so besides having a great view of the competitions, we will also see the hills of Tihanyi Peninsula from there.

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Our photographer visited the location on July 11, and as the pictures show, the work is not done yet, we can still bump into constructions and backhoes as well, and the promised huge project, the underground garage is still not finished either. The mayor of Balatonfüred, István Bóka, remains optimistic despite these facts.

Although with a huge rush in the end, but we will be ready with all the developments we planned by the beginning of the world championships. We’ll receive the occupancy permit for the underground garage on July 12. The 190-spaces garage is finished, we built the two planned elevators, we will inaugurate the connecting road between Zákonyi Street and Honvéd Street, which is very important, as this will help to relieve the traffic on Zákonyi Street. The green areas will be finished, and the parking lot on Huray Street will also be ready, providing parking for free. We only have to do small repairs now, like solving the problem of the rainwater drainage on Zákonyi Street, which has been a problem for a long time. I hope that these works will be done by July 14,” said Mayor Bóka to balatonfured.hu.

A serious dredging took place before the competition, and then they started building the mobile bleacher that can seat two thousand people on Lake Balaton. The bleacher that goes from the rose garden to the wooden pier was built on the water to ease the traffic on the promenade, and to provide the audience with the closest possible view on the competitions that will be held about 25-30 meters away from the shore. The bleacher stretches into the water on about 17 meters. The athletes will swim on the track marked by buoys, and the competitions will be screened on three LED-panels planted on water, while the finish line will be right in front of the bleachers.

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

The program starts with the men’s 5 km competition on the track in front of Tagore Promenade on Saturday, July 15, and then it continues the next day, on July 16, with the women’s 10 km race. The championship continues on July 18 with the men’s 10km race. The women’s 5km competition is on July 19, while the team 5km race is on July 20, and the 25km race is on July 21. Two athletes from each nation can enter each individual race, while one team per nation can compete on Thursday.

MÁV (Hungarian State Railways) will transport everyone who has a valid FINA-ticket to the venue for free; however, everyone has to cover the fee of their own travels on the way back. A public Wi-Fi network has been developed in downtown Balatonfüred and on Tagore Promenade, and the network will remain there even after the championship and will be accessible by everyone.

A pleasant change is that Blaha Lujza Street will be transformed into a pedestrian zone for the duration of the championship, and there’s a chance that it will remain the same even after the games are over. 

The article was sponsored by Bp2017 Nonprofit Kft.

Photo: Tamás Kőrösi - We Love Balaton

Translated by Emma Póli

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