Ivorian sprinters came home empty-handed from the World Athletics Championships in Budapest, against a backdrop of controversy following Cissé Gué Arthur's big flop in the men's 100m.
Due to a collision between Gbai and Ta Lou, the Ivorian 4X100m relay missed out on the podium in Budapest.
Côte d'Ivoire arrived at the 2023 World Athletics Championships with clear objectives and reasons to believe they would win medals, but they were completely disappointed. Six athletes represented the country at the event, which took place from August 19 to 27 in Budapest, Hungary.
Ta Lou Marie-Josée set out with great ambitions, but failed to shine for once during the competition. After competing in three finals, she left with an injury sustained in the 4x100m final in a collision with her compatriot Gbai Jessica. The former suffered a sprained left arm and left ankle, while the latter suffered an open right calf. Koné Maboundou also left everyone wanting more. The women's sprint, the jewel in the crown of Ivorian athletics for the last 10 years, failed to make the podium. The only positive note, if there was one, was the African record broken by the Ivorian women's quartet in the 4x100m semi-final. Their time of 41s90 was the 8th fastest in the history of the discipline. But the biggest miss was undoubtedly that of Cissé Gué Arthur in the men's 100m.
Arthur Cissé: "I was on my own".
Eliminated in the heats of the men's 100m on August 20, 2023, Cissé Gué's controversial comments spoiled the atmosphere in the Ivorian delegation. The young sprinter dropped a bombshell in the following terms: "There was no medical staff, nobody asked me how my preparation was going, I was left to my own devices", he blasted without wearing gloves. The Ivorian Athletics Federation was quick to react.
"We're in the middle of a competition and we don't want to get into controversy.'
I'm not responding to Cissé. I'm just correcting what he said. You need to know that when it comes to support, he receives two types. In terms of financial support, he receives 380 euros a month from the Côte d'Ivoire government and 740 euros over the same period from the National Olympic Committee, making a total of 1,120 euros a month. This is no mean feat. Even a civil servant doesn't earn that kind of money," explained FIA President Jeannot Kouadio, detailing the financial support granted to Cissé. The executive didn't stop there."Every time Cissé loses, he blames everyone else"."Concerning his follow-up by a specialist, here too we have to tell it like it is. Our former champion, Koffi Hua Wilfried, provided his personal coach, who is a highly qualified trainer, to monitor Cissé. He hasn't reported anything to us. I just note that every time this boy loses a competition, he always blames everyone, the Federation or the Ministry of Sports. It's regrettable", reacted Kouadio vigorously. According to the national technical director, there were high hopes for Cissé, even though we knew that a miracle was almost impossible.
"In terms of performance, Cissé wasn't at his best.
But as the president told some of your colleagues, that was to be expected. Since 2021, Arthur Cissé hasn't run under 10 seconds. Only once has he clocked 9 seconds in the men's 100m. To be among the best at the Worlds and the Olympics, you have to run under 10 seconds. He hasn't achieved such a performance since 2021. So he failed by being at his usual standard where he needed to excel. It's as simple as that," Poda Sié analyzed for SNA. Between the Jeux de la Francophonie Kinshasa 2023 (DRC) and these World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Cissé Gué Arthur has had two major failures. This is hardly reassuring, just under a year away from the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.