Preparation works are on…
The website of the 2019 FIE World Fencing Championships has launched, but it is by far not the first step of progress as the preparation works are already on for months. The expectation of the International Fencing Federation from the organisers is to host an event that is at least as high in quality as the 2013 World Championships were in Budapest.
Let us look at the bald statement of the facts.
The World Championships will commence in the very middle of the summer of 2019, on July 15th in Budapest where the FIE will allocate most of the quota places for the Tokyo Olympics. The competition lasts until July 23rd, and 6 world champions will be announced in the three weapons. Hungarian organisers have plentiful experience, since this is the fifth time Budapest has the opportunity to organise the fencing event that is second most important after the Olympic Games. As this will be a qualifying event, we can use the term that is already well known in the world of sports: the road to Tokyo passes through Budapest.
The organisers work in a well-constructed team: many of them took part in organising the 2013 Budapest event, which was the centenary World Championship of fencing sport as it took place on the 100th anniversary of the FIE. It is a great honor that in November 2016 the international federation voted again for Hungary, and trusted us to organise the Olympic qualifying event.
President of the FIE, the businessman of Uzbek origin Alisher Usmanov then underlined his expectation that the quality of the 2019 event should reach that of the 2013 Budapest World Championships. Thus we can say that the bar is set very high…
Not only because of the Hungarian results (1 gold and 1 bronze medal) were the Budapest 2013 World Championships successful, but also in organisational aspects. The pilot video campaign of the event was quite memorable, where our sabre Olympic Champion Áron Szilágyi defeated many well-known “movie villains”. Apart from driving attention of both local and foreign sport supporters to the event, it also won numerous international creative advertising awards.
More than 1000 fencers, plentiful accompanying persons and supporters arrived, and essentially
all of them left with positive experiences. Within the fencing family even today delegations and international officials give Budapest 2013 as an example of professional organisation and implementation, and never forget to mention how warmly Budapest welcomed the fencing elite of the world.
In 2013, Olympic silver medalist epée fencer Gábor Boczkó participated in the Budapest World Championships on the piste as a fencer. In 2019 he will wear a suit standing next to the pistes as the Competition Director of the event.
“In 2013, the organisers laid the new foundations and showed the world how to organise a fencing competition in a modern sense and in the highest possible quality. President Mr. Usmanov was right, this is the level that we need to reach in 2019 to organise a successful competition. – The venue is the same, we will set up the pistes in the BOK hall (formerly SYMA hall) again, and as we organised several great events there since the World Championships, we know every inch of the place. The goal is to reach the level of the 2013 event, yet we would like to present a competition that is a bit different this time, using the most up-to-date technology in visual effects and in TV broadcast. Another top priority for us is to keep the schedule punctually to the second, as it is very important both for the fencers and for the spectators. Recently the importance of on-line streams significantly grew, and we will let the whole world to watch every piste live. It means that failing to keep the schedule is not an option for us. We also have to provide perfect circumstances for the fencers so that they perform perfectly on one of the most important qualifying event of their career. Among other important issues, in the middle of summer it is essential to focus on climate control in the fencing hall: it cannot be too hot or too cold near the pistes. The fundamental point however is to organise an Olympic level event.”
Apart from practical questions Gábor Boczkó spoke about the atmosphere of the World Championships. According to the Competition Director so far after every World Championship, World Cup or Grand Prix event all guests of the Hungarian fencing sport left positive feedback about their reception and about the Hungarian capital itself.
“Luckily, among visitors the popularity and advancement of Budapest is in continuous growth. With this event we aim to attract new spectators. We would like to provide a touristic experience for them, thus further developing the positive image of Hungary and its capital. We would also like to improve the recognition of fencing both nationally and on the international level.” – added the Competition Director.
Ticket sales for the 2019 FIE World Fencing Championships are planned to start in February. The competition will be broadcasted in Hungary by the national television on M4 Sport channel, with special attention to the Hungarian participants.