Budapest will have an opportunity this week to demonstrate its credentials to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games as it stages the final of the European Swimming League (LEN) Champions League, the premier club competition in men's water polo, a sport which enjoys an almost religious status in Hungary.
Hungary men's national water polo team are considered the world's most successful team in the history of the sport.
They have won a total of 14 Olympic medals, including nine golds, as well as three world titles and 12 European crowns.
Hungary's Olympic total includes three consecutive gold medals at Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008.
All the matches in the LEN Champions League, including the final on Saturday (June 4), are due be played at the Alfréd Hajós National Swimming Stadium.
Budapest 2024 launched their official Olympic bid April by commemorating Alfréd Hajós, Hungary’s first-ever Olympic champion by winning two gold medal at Athens 1896.
Hajós took victory in both the 100 and 1,200 metres freestyle races at the event in the Greek capital to also become the first modern Olympic swimming champion at the age of 18.
In 1926, he then went on to win a silver medal - the highest honour at the time - in the Olympic art competition for his design of a stadium at that year’s Paris Games.
Hajós is responsible for the design of 10 sporting venues in Hungary, including the swimming facilities on Margaret Island, which now bears his name as it is called the Alfréd Hajós National Swimming Complex.
He was inducted into the International Swimming Federation Hall of Fame in 1953, two years before his death in Budapest, and remains one of Hungary’s most successful sportspeople.
The 2014 European Water Polo Championships were held in Alfréd Hajós National Swimming Stadium.
Among the six teams vying for top honours in the Hungarian capital - which is up against Los Angeles, Paris and Rome in a four-horse race to host the 2024 Olympics - is defending champions Pro Recco of Italy.
They will face the winners of tomorrow’s quarter-final between home side Eger and Croatia’s Jug Dubrovnik in the semi-finals on Friday (June 3).
The other last-four encounter will pit Greece’s Olympiacos against the winners of Hungary’s Szolnoki VSK's clash with last year’s bronze medallists Club Atlètic-Barceloneta of Spain.