On the eve of the track and fields competitions and the rampant controversies about African athletes being barred for failing to undergo mandatory doping tests ahead of the global sports event, one woman remains focused on one and only goal: gold to make history in Tokyo 2021. Marie-Josée TA LOU is aiming for Olympic glory. Nothing less than the top prize, indeed!
"Sometimes I have doubts, but my coach reminds me that I can be the best. So I have learnt to believe in myself. My goal is to win gold in the 100m and 200m. But one gold medal will also be great!" said the humble Ivorian track superstar when recently asked about her hopes for the future.
If she manages to win Olympic gold or even get on the podium, she would become the second Ivorian sprinter to win an Olympic medal after the late Gabriel Tiacoh who won silver in the 400m at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and the first African runner to medal in the 100m.
In Côte d'Ivoire and in Africa in general, Ta Lou has become a role model. A new role she is not afraid to take on, as she wants to show the new generation that with hard work, anything is possible. "When they see where I started from, young people can believe in themselves. I want to show them that they can do anything they want and achieve great things. You don't need much to become a champion. You just have to work hard and believe in yourself.
" I always tell those who want to emulate me, to be better than me instead". She urges others and young African women not to be afraid of sacrifices because she sees it as the only way to leave a legacy. "Sometimes, young people want to have it easy. But there are two things. Either you just want to do athletics, or you want to leave a legacy. If you want to leave a legacy, you have to make sacrifices in your life."
When I was younger, I dreamed of making a difference. I want to leave a great legacy, not only to Ivorian girls but to all girls in Africa. I want to show them that they can do great things if they believe in themselves.
Hail to Ivory Coast's track and field goddess. The nation wishes you the best.
Published By Claude B. Djaquis
29/07/2021 @ 09:56