September 9 - Hungarian President Pal Schmitt, a double Olympic gold medallist and leading member of the International Olympic Committee, today welcomed delegates from the International Triathlon (ITU) to the opening of the 2010 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Budapest Grand Final.

Schmitt hosted the ITU at a reception at the world famous Hungarian Parliament Building in Budapest.

Meanwhile, athletes from all around the world paraded by nation through Budapest, as thousands of spectators along the streets greeted them with cheers.

The Hungarian capital is now set for the weekend's races, which will decide the 2010 ITU world champions in the age group, junior, under-23, Paratriathlon and elite categories. 

Schmitt said: "As the President of the Republic of Hungary, it was my pleasure to accept the patronage of the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Budapest 2010.

"It is a great honor for Hungarian sports that Budapest is hosting the biggest triathlon event of the year.

"I sincerely hope that through the races the Hungarian youth can learn about the beauty and the difficulty of this complex sport and can meet the best triathletes of the world.

"As the President of the IOC Sport and Environment Commission, I welcome the Green Triathlon program of the local organisers in the hope that it will further enhance the idea of sustainable development in sports."

The men's elite race is scheduled at 1:00pm on Saturday (September 11), while the women's race is at 2:00pm. on Sunday (September 12).

The elite Paratriathlon is for 6:30am on Saturday.

The annual ITU Congress is also due to take place tomorrow.