RIO DE JANEIRO – Cheick Sallah Cisse won Ivory Coast’s first ever gold medal in the Olympics with a kick in the last second of the men’s under-80kg taekwondo final.
Cisse created history for the West African country when he stunned the third seed Lutalo Muhammad of Britain with a four-point score right at the death to win 8-6.
Tunisia’s Oussama Oueslati and Milad Beigi Harchgani of Turkey won the bronze medals.
Ivory Coast’s only previous Olympic medal was the silver won by Gabriel Tiacoh in the men’s 400m at the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
And, in a case of the London bus syndrome — you wait ages then two come along at once — Ivory Coast got a second medal on the night when Ruth Gbagbi claimed bronze in the women’s under-67kg class
When Cisse realised he’d won he threw his helmet up in the air and raced like a 100m sprinter off the mat to the ecstatic embrace of the legion of Ivory Coast fans at the Carioca Arena.
“I was able to realise this dream with courage and with passion. I don’t have a lot of dreams, and this was one of them,”
he said afterwards.
Gbagbi and Nur Tatar of Turkey won bronze.