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Marie Josée Ta Lou Named Ivory Coast Athlete Of the Year

Ivorian Sprinter Marie Josée Ta Lou awarded Ivory Coast’s “Best Athlete of the Year 2018”

Ivorian Sprinter Marie Josée Ta Lou could not have received a better welcome reception more than being awarded the “Best Athlete of the Year 2018” upon her return from the 2018 Africa Athletic Championship in Asaba, Nigeria.

After collecting three medals (two gold, one bronze) at the championship, the 29-year-old was welcomed with the award at the 6th edition of the National Day of Excellence held at the Presidential Palace on Monday, August 6.

The National Day of Excellence is an annual celebration of merit and reward. At the event, awards are presented to some Ivorians for their hard work in various sectors and is organized by the Presidency of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.

“It’s a surprise, but at the same time, I feel great joy and satisfaction. It means that my work is followed and that I am not left alone. It makes me want to work harder and win medals,” she said.

A former Association of National Olympic Committee of Africa athlete of the year winner, 29-year-old sprinter said, the reward is the result of her hard work over the years and dedicated her prize to all her compatriots, especially those who support her and pray for her. 

If it was not for the country, I could have been abandoned a long time ago,” she said.

According to media report in Ivory Coast, upon the announcement of her name, she was expected to arrive to receive her prize, but represented by her mother to receive her prize. At that moment, the athlete was en route, from the airport of Abidjan where she had just arrived from Nigeria. It was almost towards the end of the ceremony that she appeared, dressed in national colors, and walked up to the stage to appreciate her country, and the presidential couple that she presented her medals to.



Born November 18, 1988, Ta Lou specializes in sprinting events and has won several medals on continental level. She recorded her personal bests of 10.85 seconds in the 100 meters in 2018 in Shanghai, and 22.08 in the 200 meters set at the 2017 World Championships in Athletics. At the Rio Olympics, she finished fourth in the 200 meters, just 0.06 seconds behind the third place, and also she finished fourth in the 100 meters, just 0.007 seconds behind the third place.

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