French Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra said a meeting with French Athletics Federation leaders had been "constructive" ©Getty Images

French Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra has admitted results at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest were "not up to our ambitions", but said a meeting with French Athletics Federation (FFA) officials was "constructive".

Oudéa-Castéra added that France is targeting up to six athletics medals at its home Olympic Games in Paris next year.

France had been set to finish the World Championships in the Hungarian capital without a medal for the first time since 1993 in Stuttgart, until it won a surprise men's 4x100 metres relay silver in the final session.

The Minister, whose portfolio also includes the Olympic and Paralympic Games, summoned a meeting with FFA President André Giraud, national technical director Patrick Ranvier, director of high performance Romain Barras and manager of Olympic preparations Yann Cucherat to discuss the World Championships.

Afterwards, she told French radio network RTL results had been "disappointing and not up to our ambitions", but said the meeting with the FFFA had been a "constructive discussion, but also casual".

Oudéa-Castéra recognised France would not be considered among the leading athletics nations but a "good European nation" who traditionally win three or four medals, or five or six "in the best cases" which is the ambition for Paris 2024.

The FFA is set to work with the Ministry on "optimisation work" up to next year's Olympics.

"You still have to be lucid, it's not as if we were the United States or Jamaica for years," Oudéa-Castéra said, as reported by RTL.

"We know very well that France has never been, in the recent period, a very great dominant nation in athletics."

Giraud admitted after the World Championships results were "clearly below what we could have hoped for", but said results such as the relay silver and fifth-place finish for Alice Finot in the women's 3,000m steeplechase had "shown the way forward".

FFA President André Giraud admitted results at the World Athletics Championships were
FFA President André Giraud admitted results at the World Athletics Championships were "below what we could have hoped for", but displays from the likes of Alice Finot, left, had shown "the way forward" ©Getty Images

"First of all, I would like to remind you that the overall level of these World Championships was very high," he said.

"The example of the men's 800m, a discipline where one could hope for several finalists, speaks volumes.

"Eighteen athletes fell below 1min 45sec in the semi-finals, a density never seen before.

"But other nations were able to adapt and raise their level a notch, which unfortunately was not the case for us.

"In addition, we were able to observe that a certain number of athletes had arrived in Budapest without being in full possession of their physical means.

"However, even if injuries are common and are unfortunately part of the daily life of top athletes, you cannot afford to participate in the Worlds without being at 100 per cent of your abilities.

"We are going to talk to the medical sector about this state of affairs."

Giraud vowed decisions to drive improvements would be taken "as quickly as possible, with a view to Paris 2024 but also the following deadlines".

Decathlon world champion and Olympic silver medallist Kevin Mayer was among France's medal hopes in Budapest, but had to withdraw after two of the 10 events because of injury.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe admitted France's athletics results were
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe admitted France's athletics results were "a challenge" for the host nation going into Paris 2024 ©Getty Images

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe, a two-time 1500m Olympic champion with Britain who chaired the Organising Committee for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, acknowledged on Sunday (August 19) their athletics performance was a "challenge for France".

He looked back at home success for Britain at London 2012, and acknowledged work would be required to ensure the hosts produce memorable moment at their home Games.

"The French Federation will understand that and I'm sure the Local Organising Committee will understand that, and they're going to have to work hard and we need to make sure we are doing everything we possibly can to probably work harder than we would normally have done around the track and field programme just to make sure that we recognise there is a bit of a domestic delta at the moment," he said.

"The one thing about athletics, and for me it's one of our treasured assets, is Hungary has had good performances here but the fans have not looked at this as being just about Hungarian athletics.

"They have absolutely got behind and not left the stadium or gone onto the concourse when a Hungarian athlete is not competing, they've just celebrated the extraordinary nature of our sport, and we are lucky with that.

"We are not tribal.

"Of course we want to see our teams and our flags on the medal table, but an individual performance transcends all that and that is the great quality of athletics fans around the world."

Athletics at Paris 2024 is due to be held from August 1 to 11, with track and field events set to be held at the Stade de France.