Arthur Cisse was able to keep hopes alive on a decisive Saturday for most of Ivory Coast’s representatives at the ongoing Olympic Games in Tokyo with his 100m s/final qualification
The Ivorian sprinter finished second in the series with 10.15 behind South African Akani Simbine, who topped the event with 10.08. Brazilian Paulo Andre Camilo came third with 10.17. The semifinals and final are slated for Sunday.
Earlier in the day, world championships double silver medalist, Murielle Ahouré, failed to progress from the women’s 100m semi-finals after placing 7th with a 11.28 time, despite an inspiring third-place finish (11.16 sec) on Friday in Heat 1.
Another Olympics hopeful Marie-Josée Ta Lou could not clinch a medal on Saturday. After producing the fastest time (10.79) to finish top of the second semi-final of the women’s 100m, she came fourth in the final with 10.91 behind the trio of Jamaicans, Elaine Thompson-Herah (gold – 10.61), Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (silver-10.74) and Shericka Jackson (bronze-10.76).
Ta Lou finished fourth in the 100m and 200m finals at the 2016 Olympic Games as well.
The most heartbreaking result for local fans on Saturday was the elimination of the Ivory Coast football team in the quarterfinals at the hands of Spain. The Ivorians held the lead twice in the game but suffered a cruel defeat in extra time.
Leading 2-1, the Elephants were on the verge of making history by reaching the semi-finals of the tournament for the first time, but the Spaniards equalized 2-2 at 93rd minute to force the proceedings into extra time, which they dominated 5-2 to book their place in the semis.
So far, Ivory Coast boasts of a bronze medal won by Ruth Gbagbi in taekwondo.