RABAT, August 23, 2019 – Very fast in the ‘yop tchagui’ (side kick) and ‘ap tchaqui’ (front kick), Ivorian Taekwondo star Cheick Sallah Cissé displayed technical and professional superiority over his opponents en route to clinching his second African Games gold medal at Rabat 2019.
Nicknamed ‘Polozo’ or ‘King of Rio’, Cissé reaffirmed his dominance in the men’s 80kg category from the get-go, sending a strong signal that he stands out from the crowd. He gets his inspiration from Cameroonian footballer, Samuel Eto’o, whom he calls a fighter, and was not willing to give his opponents any gifts at the 12th African Games.
Cissé easily got rid of his Sudanese opponent in the first round before solving his quarter-final equation. The first round of the quarter-final saw him mercilessly walk over Nigerian Chamsou Mahamadou Idrissa with 30 points on the counter. The second round would be fatal. Sheikh Cissé punished his opponent with a huge 24-point gap.
In the semi-finals, the Olympic champion sent Senegalese Ababacar Sadikh Soumaré home with 29-9 points and blazed a royal trail to the throne. In the final, he met Ashraf, from Morocco, one of the best taekwondoists on the continent. It was a very difficult fight, since the Moroccan was quite technical. The finalists went neck to neck in the first and second rounds that the Ivorian became concerned.
But he remained optimistic because he was sure to win. And win he did, thanks to his analytical skills in the dying embers of the game. Cissé retained the title he won in 2015 with a 38points to 35points victory over Maboudi. Sallah Cheick Sallah won the gold medal.