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Sebastian Coe runs first few steps at Budapest’s new National Athletics Centre

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe ran the first metres on the track at the new National Athletics Centre of Hungary, which will be the venue for the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23 in just over a year.

Coe, who is in Budapest for the FINA World Championships, met with key members of the local organising committee for the 2023 World Athletics Championships, including CEO Péter Deutsch and Hungarian Athletics Association President Miklós Gyulai. During his time in the Hungarian capital, Coe was shown around the National Athletics Centre by 2017 world 110m hurdles bronze medallist Balázs Baji.

Coe also joined 10 participants from the Hungarian Kids’ Athletics Programme and ran with them on the field of play in the new stadium, which is still under construction. The Hungarian Kids’ Athletics Programme aims to inspire more and more children to choose athletics as their first sport, given it is the foundation of all sports. As a result of the programme, the number of young athletes aged six to 12 has already increased by 30% in Hungary in 2021. The programme is part of World Athletics’ Kids’ Athletics initiative.

“I am impressed with the organisation,” said Coe. “Of course there is still a lot to do, but everything is going to plan. I saw a very focused team and I’m sure we’ll see a fantastic World Championships here in Budapest in 2023. Even with the ongoing construction, the stadium already looks impressive. It was great to meet some of the budding young talent from the Hungarian Kids’ Athletics Programme, and it was a pleasure to join them in their debut at the stadium. I hope they all get an opportunity to compete here in the years to come.”

Deutsch added: “Just over a year from now, in August 2023, the World Athletics Championships – the biggest sporting event in Hungary's history – will begin. Our goal with the World Championships is to strengthen and promote the Hungarian athletics and to get as many children as possible to choose this fantastic sport.”

(06/18/2022) Views: 79 ⚡AMP

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