Olympic gold Taekwondo medallist Cissé Cheick has lived up to expectations at the ongoing African Games in Rabat, Morocco, having successfully defended his 2015 title by clinching gold medal in the 80kg category on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old Ivorian, who has qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, believes Taekwondo could be an alternative sport for African youths if the discipline is given a broader attention.
“I am an Olympic gold medallist (2016), not in football or basketball but Taekwondo. Who could have imagined that? Africans have the strength and physical balance to succeed in this sport. We only need stakeholders to invest in it and give it more attention,” he told www.ACLSports.com from Rabat.
“It also proves we Africans can learn and do it better. Take the example of my compatriot Ruth Gbagbi, who won bronze in Rio in 2016, she went on to win gold medal at the World Taekwondo Championships in South Korea, where the sport originated from. Who could have believed that?
“I would like to encourage Africans youths to come discover this sport and give it a try. I would also invite sport ministries across the continent to invest in Taekwondo. It would not only generate medals and honours but also help the youths to convert their juvenile strength into something positive,” he said.
Cissé has been an inspiration for many budding practitioners of the sport in his homeland Ivory Coast and beyond. About 300 participants are competing in the discipline in Rabat. It is the highest number so far, according to organisers.