News Brief

Cheick Sallah Cisse Wins Côte d'Ivoire’s First Olympic Gold Medal in an Epic Finish

The 22-year-old Taekwondo champion has captured his home country’s third medal overall.

With a mere second left, Cheick Sallah Cisse of Côte d'Ivoire delivered a gold-medal-winning reverse turning kick to the head of his British opponent Lutalo Muhammad in the men's 80kg division of Taekwondo in Rio, Friday.


It was an unexpected finish for Cisse who found himself in a stalemate with Muhammad after the first round, then tied in the second round and then down by two points with the time clock winding down until only seconds remained. That’s when the 22-year-old Ivorian pulled off an unimaginable upset over his British rival, 8 to 6—and captured the first gold medal for his home country.

It’s Côte d'Ivoire’s third Olympic medal overall as just an hour earlier Cisse’s compatriot Ruth Gbagbi won the second, a bronze in the women's under 67kg Taekwondo event.

Cisse expressed his joy by running a victory lap around the arena.

"I do not know where it came from, I want to thank God,” the new Olympic champion says. “The audience allowed me to be in my element, this is what I love. There were moments in the fight when it did not go well, but thanks to the audience I got out of that."

Interview

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

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