World Athletics President Sebastian Coe said he would "encourage" a bid from Budapest for the Olympics and Paralympics ©Getty Images

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has encouraged Budapest to bid for the Olympic and Paralympic Games after a World Championships here which set "a new blueprint", and offered praise for controversial Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Hungary is thought likely to rekindle its interest in staging the Games for the first time in 2036, although at this stage the Government claims it has not officially committed to this.

It previously failed with bids for 1916, 1920, 1936 and 1960, and a proposal for 2024 was scuppered after the civil organisation Momentum Movement secured enough signatures for a referendum of Budapest residents.

The city has emerged as a destination for major sporting events, of which the World Athletics Championships at the new National Athletics Centre which concluded yesterday was the latest.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Coe, who led a successful bid from London to stage the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, expressed his belief Budapest would be a strong contender to stage the 2036 edition.

"I can speak on behalf of track and field," Coe said.

"Of course, we have seen the highest quality of athletics performance and delivery, and this is an ambitious city and ambitious country.

"I have no reason to doubt that they would put up a very credible bid if it was entertained through the current bidding process of the International Olympic Committee.

"I would encourage them."

At least 10 countries are reported to be interested in staging the 2036 Olympics and Paralympics.

As with Brisbane for 2032, it is set to be awarded under the IOC's new approach whereby its Future Host Commission identifies and proposes its preferred candidate to the Executive Board, which can then enter targeted dialogue.

IOC President Thomas Bach, left, held a three-hour meeting with authoritarian Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, right, during the World Athletics Championships ©IOC
IOC President Thomas Bach, left, held a three-hour meeting with authoritarian Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, right, during the World Athletics Championships ©IOC

IOC President Thomas Bach was in Budapest from Friday (August 25) for the World Championships, and held a three-hour meeting with Orbán during his visit.

The IOC reported this had discussed "Hungary's contribution to world sport, the upcoming Olympic Games Paris 2024 and the current geopolitical situation".

Hungarian honorary IOC member Pál Schmitt accompanied Bach during the meeting.

More than 400,000 tickets were sold for the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, and television viewing figures of more than one billion people have been reported.

It was the first World Championships for which hosting rights were awarded during Coe's Presidency, which began in 2015.

He said he "can't really remember a better atmosphere at the World Championships", and credited the Organising Committee, Budapest and Orbán.

"If you're going to go to a country, it's always quite sensible to find or pick a Prime Minister that really does get sport, and in Viktor Orbán we couldn’t have had more support both at a local and national level," Coe said.

Coe revealed discussions had taken place with the Hungarian Government and Institute for Sport to create a permanent World Athletics centre of coaching excellence at the National Athletics Centre.

Authoritarian leader Orbán has served as Hungarian Prime Minister since 2010 and overseen a sporting revival in the country.

He has been accused of an erosion of democracy and human rights in the country, with particular concern over his attitude towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning (LGBTQ+) people.

Sebastian Coe said Budapest had
Sebastian Coe said Budapest had "created a new standard for our outdoor World Championships" ©Getty Images

There is also growing domestic criticism over his economic record, with Hungary recording a European Union-leading inflation rate of 17.6 per cent on the year as of last month.

Coe has previously claimed "I’ve never been involved in a sport that’s gone anywhere, particularly into challenging environments, where it has left that society politically, culturally, socially worse off".

Coe claimed Budapest had set the benchmark for the World Championships.

"Together with the Budapest Organising Committee we have created a new standard for our outdoor World Championships going forward," he said.

"It is the new blueprint.

"We have seen full stadia which creates an electric atmosphere, we have had the highest ever number of participating athletes, we have witnessed jaw-dropping and nail-biting performances, and we have had huge audiences as a result.

"Innovation has been a driving force for these Championships.

"They have had more innovation embedded in them than we have seen in the last decade.

"From a medal plaza where athletes are treated like rock stars, to the awarding of coaches’ medals, striking branding that can be seen across the city, and a clear sustainability vision.

"This is a World Championships city and a country with a long-term, ambitious vision for sport and legacy that goes way beyond a nine-day competition."