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Tokyo 2020: Hugues Zango wins first ever Burkinabe Olympic medal

The triple jumper Hugues Fabrice Zango won Thursday 5 August in Tokyo the first ever Olympic medal for his country.The…

The triple jumper Hugues Fabrice Zango won Thursday 5 August in Tokyo the first ever Olympic medal for his country.The 28-year-old Burkinabe athlete won a bronze medal in the final with a triple jump of 17.47 metres, giving Burkina Faso, which is celebrating the 61st anniversary of its independence, its first ever medal at the Olympics.

 

After two jumps of 15.91 metres and 16.90, the athlete surpassed himself with a jump of 17.31 metres. A performance that puts him on the podium. Even though he was far from his African outdoor record (17.82 metres), Zango still managed to win an Olympic medal for his first participation in the Olympics.

 

He finished the competition behind the untouchable Portuguese Pedro Pichardo (17m 98) and Yaming Zhu of China (17m 57). This new medal that comes on top of the bronze won at the World Championships in Doha (Qatar) in 2019.

 

“It’s not the medal I wanted,” he told French website L’Équipe. But he said he was “rather happy for Burkina because today is my country’s Independence Day and I win its first medal. It is historic for me and for my country. Burkina is very happy, I think it will hold a big party for me.

 

Flag bearer of the Burkinabe delegation, Zango is an atypical athlete who continues his studies in France. A graduate in electrical engineering, he has been the world record holder in the men’s indoor triple jump since 16 January 2021 with a mark of 18.07 metres achieved at a meeting in Aubière, France. The previous record (18.07m), which dates back to 2011, was previously held by his coach Teddy Tamgho.

 

In Tokyo, the athlete regretted not having jumped at his best. “These Games were really very complicated for me. I can’t really explain it because it wasn’t a physical or mental issue, I had no particular pressure, I was very motivated,” he explained.

 

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