World Athletics extended its support of Ukraine by providing training equipment to athletes alongside the World Championships ©Getty Images

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has delivered training equipment to Ukrainian athletes alongside the World Championships here, and expressed renewed praise for participants from the country.

Ukraine is being represented by a team of 29 athletes at the World Championships in Budapest, and its Beijing 2008 Olympic heptathlon champion Nataliya Dobrynska secured election to the World Athletics Council at the Congress last week.

Coe delivered equipment to Dobrynska and members of the Ukrainian team designed to replace items destroyed during missile attacks and allow athletes to continue training during the ongoing Russian invasion.

Pole vault poles and mats are among the equipment provided from a $190,000 (£150,000/€175,000) fund established by World Athletics and its charitable arm the International Athletics Foundation members of the Diamond League Association.

The money has also been used to partially fund a pre-World Championships training camp in Banská Bystrica in Slovakia and travel and accommodation for non-quota athletes and officials at World Athletics Series events.

"This year, we have heard your request to provide athletics equipment destroyed by the war, and support for summer camp training and preparation for Budapest," Coe said.

"And this is where we have focused our efforts.

"We have the poles, and I am delighted they are being used.

"The mats will follow.

"Thank you, all of you - the athletes, the coaches and the federation - for keeping our sport alive in Ukraine."

World Athletics has taken a firmer stance than most governing bodies in response to the war in Ukraine, maintaining an outright ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes despite the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) updated recommendations for them to compete as individual neutrals if they do not support the conflict and are not affiliated to the military.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, left, praised athletes for
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, left, praised athletes for "keeping our sport alive in Ukraine" ©Getty Images

Coe is an IOC member in Britain, but has insisted he is "not neutral" in the war.

He pledged his renewed support to Ukrainian athletes.

"I am grateful you are here competing at this 40th anniversary of the World Championships," Coe said.

"I know how hard it has been for you emotionally and physically.

"I have spoken to many of you since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year.

"And I want you to know that World Athletics will continue to support you as long as you need help."

Dobrynska expressed her thanks to World Athletics for its response to the war.

Ukraine has been represented by 29 athletes at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, but is still awaiting its first medal ©Getty Images
Ukraine has been represented by 29 athletes at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, but is still awaiting its first medal ©Getty Images

"Today, we come together to express our huge gratitude to World Athletics, led by President Sebastian Coe, for being a pillar of support during these challenging times in Ukraine," she said.

"In a world that sometimes feels divided, you remind us of the power of unity.

"You should know that all of Ukraine appreciates your commitment and involvement in what our athletes are trying to achieve under very difficult circumstances."

Only one member per nationality is permitted to serve on the Council, and Dobrynska replaced outgoing senior vice-president Sergey Bubka, the IOC member and six-time pole vault world champion who ended his involvement with World Athletics after 22 years.

Bubka has faced criticism in Ukraine for a failure to condemn Russia's invasion in February 2022 and revelations his family business has supplied petrol in the occupied regions of his country.

World Athletics Championships ambassador David Rudish, the Kenyan two-time world and Olympic men's 800 metres champion, Ukrainian 400m hurdler Anna Ryzhykova and Athlete Refugee Team member Perina Nakang and coach Janeth Jepkosgei also met with refugee families living in Hungary alongside the World Championships, including some from Ukraine.

Ukraine is today celebrating 32 years of independence from the Soviet Union.

Since making its debut as an independent country at the 1993 World Athletics Championships in Stuttgart, Ukraine has won a total of 41 medals including 18 golds, but it has yet to secure a podium finish in Budapest.