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Arena extends long-standing relationship with Hungarian Swimming Association, expands Hungarian Elite Team presence to five

Tolentino, 2nd April 2013 - Global waterwear brand Arena is pleased to announce the renewal of their sponsorship agreement with the Hungarian Swimming Association (HSA). In signing another four-year deal until 2016, the three-diamond brand and HSA are extending the successful relationship they first established over 30 years ago. In addition to the HSA agreement, Arena is also extending their individual sponsorships of László Cseh and Daniel Gyurta, while also signing up Éva Risztov, Zsuzsanna Jakabos and Katinka Hosszú as newcomers to the prestigious Elite Team.

Hungarian swimming goes back a long way, with the HSA founded over a century ago in 1907, and participating as one of the eight founding members of FINA in 1908. At the first edition of the modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896, Hungarian Alfréd Hajós won two of the four swimming events, and since then Hungary has gone on to win the fourth-most swimming gold medals overall (25), and the sixth-most medals in total (66). Most renowned of all Hungarian swimmers is Krisztina Egerszegi, who won five Olympic titles between 1988 and 1996, was only the second athlete to win the same Olympic swimming event three times (and is still one of only three to do it), and broke two world records in 100m and 200m backstroke, the latter standing for nearly 17 years until it was broken in 2008.

Hungary is also renowned in the aquatic world as one of the world’s powerhouses in water polo. The men’s team has won the Olympic title a record nine times, with 15 medals overall, and the World Championships twice, with nine medals overall.

HSA President Tamas Gyarfas welcomed the new agreement and acknowledged Arena’s contribution to Hungarian swimming: “As the saying goes, clothes make the man. This is true for our swimmers: when they put on the Arena suits they put them into a different class. They are talented, they are well prepared, but in today’s sport you must have the perfect kit to reach the highest heights. And our team has made it! The Hungarian swimmers finished in the Top 5 on the medal table in each major international competition recently – as a highlight, they were ranked first at the long-course European Championships in 2012 and third at the short-course World Championships. Credit also goes to Arena for these outstanding performances. Arena is one of the most distinguished partners of our Federation and we are more than happy to extend our relationship until 2016.”

Of the individually sponsored athletes, László Cseh approaches Egerszegi in reputation, and although he has yet to win an Olympic gold, he does have one world title, three Olympic silver and two bronze medals, and an incredible 11 European LC and 16 SC titles to his name. He has also broken each of the 200m and 400m IM SC world records three times. The world’s current king of 200m breaststroke, Daniel Gyurta is the reigning champion of the Olympic, world LC and SC, and European LC events, having won his first world title in 2009 and his first European title in 2010. He also broke the 200m LC breaststroke world record in the Olympic final in London, and is the current holder of the 200m breaststroke SC world record.

Among the Arena Elite Team newcomers, butterfly and IM specialist Katinka Hosszú has one world LC and two world SC titles to her name, along with six European LC and three SC titles, and was the overall female winner of the FINA/Arena World Cup series in 2012. Competing with Katinka in her individual events and partnering with her in the relays, Zsuzsanna Jakabos is a three-time Olympian and has won two European SC titles along with two silver and five bronze medals, as well as four European LC silver medals and one bronze. Éva Risztov is yet another butterfly and IM exponent, and also swims freestyle. In 2012 she won the Olympic 10km marathon in London to add to her three world championship silvers, six European LC silvers and one bronze, and six European SC golds, one silver, and one bronze, in a variety of events including 200m fly, 400m IM, and 1500m freestyle.

“This is an auspicious day in our history with Hungarian swimming,” said Giuseppe Musciacchio, Arena’s General Manager of Brand development. “Not only are we renewing our great relationship with the HSA, we’re also doing it with László and Daniel, while also welcoming Katinka, Zsuzsanna, and Éva to the Arena fold. It is as bold a statement we can make about what we think of the professionalism and dedication of the HSA and its swimmers, exemplified by the highly successful 2012 European LC Championships organized at extremely short notice by the HSA in Debrecen, where Hungarians led the way with 26 medals. Hungarian swimming is one of the most important cogs in European swimming, just as it is in Arena’s European strategy, and we look forward to working with the HSA, the five Elite Team members, and all of Hungarian swimming as we strive together toward more great achievements.”

“I’m proud to work together with Arena, I’ve had some fantastic results with them,” said László Cseh. “With this renewal of the sponsorship, I hope we can get even better.”

“I entered into a contract with Arena in 2010, and since then I have had a lot of success,” said Daniel Gyurta. “I hope that we can continue in the same way under the new agreement.”

Éva Risztov sees her new Arena sponsorship as a return on all the effort she’s put in to get this far: “It’s good to be part of the Arena team – it’s a kind of reward for all the hard work I’ve done in the past. When I returned to the pool after three long years, few believed I could make it. But commitment, iron will and belief put me through the hardest moments, I managed to clinch medals at the 2012 European Championships and I became Olympic champion in London. I’m 27, at this age others are leaving the sport, sponsors go after the younger kids – but I feel the power inside which will push me forward in the coming years. I want to win more titles, and if you have strong support from companies like Arena, you feel even stronger.“

“It is a huge honor to be part of the Arena Elite Team, along with so many of our sports greats,” added Katinka Hosszú. “I have always loved the brand and felt the most confident using their products, and now being part of the Arena Elite Team is just a dream come true. As a professional swimmer, you could not ask for better products or team of people to be partnered with.”