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Olympic Games 2020 - Athletics: Zango wins first ever medal for Burkina Faso

Hugues Zango
Olympic Games 2020 - Athletics: Zango wins first ever medal for Burkina Faso

Hugues-Fabrice Zango "integrates" his country in the Olympic "map". Thanks to his leap of 17m47 in the triple jump, the Stallion made his country the 100th nation to win an Olympic medal, on the day of its independence.

Hugues-Fabrice Zango has just given Burkina Faso the first Olympic medal it has coveted since 1972. It's a joyful moment in the country of the men of integrity. Especially since on 5 August, the Burkinabe are celebrating the 60th anniversary of their independence. The jumper was a little disappointed at the end of the competition. For Zango, the summer was indeed less sunny than the winter. He had come to Tokyo to bring home gold but had to be satisfied with bronze.

The 27-year-old athlete did not hide his frustration to RFI. "I'm still sad because my whole season was pretty good and I was hoping for better results. I wanted to bring back the best metal for my country and for myself. Unfortunately, it fell on bronze," said the man who holds the world indoor record since 16 January (18m07).

On the vault at the Tokyo Olympic stadium, the Stallion never let himself go. He appeared tense from the day of the qualifications. Zango even came close to being eliminated by only finishing 12th and last in the final. Pressure certainly. After winning the bronze medal at the World Championships in Doha in 2019, all 20 million Burkinabes expected to finally appear in the Olympic prize list. But he denies it. "I had no physical or mental problems. I was motivated for these Olympics and I didn't necessarily feel any pressure, as some might think. I really gave it my all and I was in the same state as for the other competitions," he explains.

Zango accomplished his mission by winning bronze with a leap of 17m47. To get the gold, however, he still had to do better than his African outdoor record, which he had improved just a few days ago, on 6 July (17m82). Great satisfaction for the athlete after having signed the best jump in the history of the qualifications on Tuesday (17m71).

The popular jubilation will most certainly erase the disappointment. I don't really know how they will welcome me in Burkina Faso," he says. But I know that they are waiting for me and that we will celebrate this first historic medal. It will be well deserved for the Doctoral student in Mechanical Engineering.

Philemon MBALE

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