Sebastian Coe has been re-elected for a third and final term as President of World Athletics ©Twitter

Sebastian Coe was re-elected as World Athletics President for a third and final term here today.

Britain's double Olympic 1500 metres gold medallist, first elected in 2015, stood unopposed at the World Athletics Congress.

The 66-year-old polled 192 of the 195 votes with three abstaining - 98.5 per cent - in a vote held two days before the start of the World Athletics Championships in the Hungarian capital. 

Coe thanked delegates for re-electing him.

"We have a lot of unfinished work to do … let’s bring this baby home," he told them.

The election was overseen by World Athletics' senior vice-president Sergey Bubka, Ukraine's 1988 Olympic pole vault gold medallist and six-time world champion, who Coe had beaten when first elected to head the International Federation at Beijing in 2015. 

It was Bubka's last act before stepping down after 22-years on the ruling Council of the governing body, as insidethegames reported yesterday following criticism of his links with Russia.

Coe's first two terms in office since succeeding the now disgraced Lamine Diack saw him having to clear up the corruption left by his predecessor and tackling the sport's drug problem by setting up the Athletics Integrity Unit, which has become a blueprint for other organisations. 

Russia has been a dominant issue for Coe having banned them shortly after his election following evidence of state-sponsored doping.

They were only readmitted to World Athletics earlier this year, but remain out in the cold following Vladimir Putin's invasion in February 2022 of Ukraine, which Coe has condemned more vocally than any other International Federation.  

Coe acknowledged that most of his first two terms had been taken up fire-fighting rather being able to concentrate on making athletics a better product.

"The first four years of my mandate was making sure the ship didn't sink," he said. 

"We were in a really tough situation.

"The next four years were about dealing with stuff that had been in the inbox for far too long.

"The next four years will focus on what is the product that will future-proof the sport for the next 30 years."

Sebastian Coe's third term leading World Athletics could be cut short if he decided to stand for President of the IOC ©World Athletics
Sebastian Coe's third term leading World Athletics could be cut short if he decided to stand for President of the IOC ©World Athletics 

Coe, however, may not complete this final term as there is growing support for him to stand to replace Thomas Bach as International Olympic Committee President when his term ends in 2025.

If Coe should succeed, then he will step down from World Athletics.

He still has to officially confirm that he will stand.

"I genuinely haven't ruled it in and I haven't ruled it out," he said.