Sprinter Murielle Ahoure won Ivory Coast’s first ever gold medal in the women’s 60m at the ongoing World Indoor Athletics Championships in Birmingham on Friday.
It was a historic night for the West African nation as Ahoure’s compatriot Marie Josee Ta Lou finished behind her to claim the silver medal.
Ahoure ended her race in a world lead of 6.97 seconds, equalling sixth all-time record holder Laverne Jones-Ferrette, from the United States Virgin Islands, who ran the time in 2010.
The 30-year-old Ivorian came second in the same 60m event in 2012 and 2014, held respectively in Istanbul and Sopot (Poland).
“I’m so happy. I’ve trained so hard for this and that medal is for my coach and my team that have trained me so hard,” Ahoure said.
“The most important thing I knew would be getting out of the blocks and executing my race, focusing on my lane. It’s huge to get gold and silver. The Ivory Coast is on top, we’re so happy and hopefully soon we’ll be able to take over the whole podium.
“This last year has been so difficult with my father (passing away). I knew he was watching from up there. I was talking to him before the race, saying ‘please Dad help me in the race’. I couldn’t get a gold medal when he was alive.”
Ahoure is the stepdaughter of former Ivory Coast chief of army staff, Mathias Doué, who passed away in March 2017.