Track world championships latest play by Orbán's Hungary for global sports spotlight

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BUDAPEST, Hungary—A country spends millions, sometimes billions, to deliver a major international sports event to the world. That money buys a chance to project strength at home and abroad and, if the event goes well, maybe even glosses over that country's oft-dissected shortcomings. It's a pattern that has played out…

Philippines News, Philippines Headlines

BUDAPEST, Hungary—A country spends millions, sometimes billions, to deliver a major international sports event to the world.

At a cost of nearly $700 million, the sparkling National Athletics Center, on the left bank of the Danube River, will host more than 2,000 athletes from over 200 countries in the biggest international sports event this side of the Olympics. “In the midst of the economic and political difficulties that we are experiencing right now, such propagandistic elements can obviously distort reality somewhat and provide a sense of success,” he said. “These political systems want to buy themselves societal and international legitimacy.”

Nikki Hiltz, a 1,500-meter runner who identifies as transgender and nonbinary and will be competing in the championships in Budapest, said human-rights standards should be raised when assessing which countries are eligible to host international sporting events. Swimming — another anchor of the Olympic program — is also among the sports that has doubled down on Hungary.

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