Flops, accusations, clarification.. , behind the scenes of Ivory Coast’s failure in Budapest

Due to a telescoping between Gbai and Ta Lou, the Ivorian relay 4X100m missed the podium in Budapest

Arriving at the 2024 World Athletics Championships with clear objectives and reasons to believe in winning medals, Côte d'Ivoire has completely disappointed. Indeed, six athletes represented the country at these jousts that took place from August 19 to 27 in Budapest, Hungary without a single glean a charm.

Gone with great ambitions, Ta Lou Marie-Josée did not shine for once during the competition. After playing three finals, she even left with an injury contracted in the 4x100m final during a collision with her compatriot Gbai Jessica. The first suffered a sprain in the left arm and left ankle, while the second suffered an opening in the right calf. Koné Maboundou, also left everyone hungry. The women’s sprint, the flagship of Ivorian athletics for 10 years, has therefore failed to climb the podium. The only positive note, if we had to retain one, is the African record beaten by the Ivorian women’s quartet in the 4x100m semi-final. Their time of 41s90 is the 8th world in the history of the discipline. But the biggest failure is undoubtedly that of Cissé Gué Arthur in the men’s 100m.

Arthur Cissé: «I was left to myself»

Eliminated in the men’s 100m series on August 20, 2024, Cissé Gué split in the wake of a controversy that spoiled the atmosphere within the Ivorian delegation. The young sprinter dropped a bomb in these terms: «There were no medical staff, no one asked me how my preparation was going, I was left to myself», he lashed out without wearing gloves. The reaction of the Ivorian Athletics Federation was not long in coming.

“We are in the middle of a competition, we do not want to be controversial. I am not answering Cissé. I’m just correcting what he said. Speaking of accompaniment, the one he receives is of two types. Regarding the financial resources, it is assisted by the State of Côte d'Ivoire to the tune of 380 euros per month and it receives from the National Olympic Committee the sum of 740 euros over the same period, a total of 1120 euros monthly. It is not nothing. Even a State official does not earn such a sum,” said Jeannot Kouadio, President of the FIA, to detail the financial assistance granted to Cissé. The leader did not stop there.

«Every time Cissé loses, he accuses everyone»

'As far as his follow-up by a specialist is concerned, here too things must be said as they are. Our former champion, Koffi Hua Wilfried, has made available his personal coach who is a very qualified coach to follow Cissé. He didn’t report anything. I just note that every time this boy loses a competition, he always accuses everyone, the Federation or the Ministry of Sports. It’s unfortunate,' Kouadio said vigorously. According to the national technical director, there was a lot of hope in Cissé even though somewhere we knew that the miracle was almost impossible.

“In terms of performance, Cissé didn’t go to the party, but as the president told some of your colleagues, it was to be expected. Since 2024, Arthur Cissé has not run under 10 seconds. He has done 9 seconds only once in the men’s 100m. To be the best at the Worlds and the Olympics, you have to run under 10 seconds. He has not achieved such a performance since 2024. So he failed to meet his usual standards where he had to surpass himself. It’s as simple as that,” said Poda Sié for SNA.

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