Double Olympic 1500m champion will begin a third and final term as head of the global governing body
Sebastian Coe says there is still plenty of work to do during his last term as World Athletics President.
The 66-year-old polled 192 of the 195 votes with three abstaining, but did not have any opposition as the decision was announced in Budapest on the eve of the World Championships.
It means he has now led World Athletics since 2015 and says: “We have a lot of unfinished work to do.”
Coe is convinced the sport must continue to innovate and embrace change if it is to keep up with the modern world. “It was Einstein who defined insanity as doing the same thing over with the same result,” he said. “It’s time to take a deep and objective look at our ourselves and assess our levels of insanity.”
In interviews following his re-election, Coe also suggested that moves to get cross-country running into the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles are “promising”.
In addition, he wants to foster even bigger links between World Athletics and the growing areas of trail and mountain running. There is talk of a new track and field event in 2026, too, which could become an annual meeting.
In Budapest, Ximena Restrepo was re-elected as a Vice President and will be joined by newly elected Vice Presidents Raul Chapado, Adille Sumariwalla and Jackson Tuwei.
Coe added: “I’m grateful for the support of my colleagues and delighted to see that more of the commitments we made during the governance reform process in 2016 have come to fruition with the election of World Athletics’ first gender equal Council four years ahead of schedule.
“But the job is not done yet and we need to keep pushing for gender parity throughout our representative bodies. The strength of our sport is in its diversity and that should be reflected in our governance at all levels.”
When Coe first became President he succeeded the disgraced Lamine Diack in the role and one of his first jobs was to clean up the corruption that was a hallmark of Diack’s reign. In addition he has led a tough stance on Russia, banning them from the sport due to their poor doping record. More widely, the problem of drugs in athletics has been tackled by the creation of the Athletics Integrity Unit.
Coe has also led moves to shake up the athletics calendar and has also stopped the trend of athletes nation-hopping from one country to another.
There is speculation that Coe’s final period may be cut short if he stands to replace Thomas Bach as International Olympic Committee when Bach’s term ends two years’ time.