Cote d’Ivoire’s Ruth Marie Christelle Gbagbi, 23, on 30 June 2017 clinched the taekwondo gold medal in the -62 kg category at the world championships in South Korea, thus becoming the first African woman to perform such a feat at international level in this discipline. The first ever African medal in the discipline was won by Morocco’s Mounia Bourguigue, silver medallist at the 1997 world championships in Hong Kong. “I am honoured to have flown our flag on the highest rung of podium and for having made the TaekwondoWon stadium in Muju, South Korea, resonate with the Ivorian national anthem in the presence of 183 nations. I wish first and foremost to thank the Almighty God, for it is by His grace that I was able to perform such a feat and do Côte d’Ivoire proud,” she declared after her victory, before thanking those who have supported her.”I thank the President of the Republic and the First Lady for their confidence in me and for assisting me in making this dream a reality. I am grateful for all the support, which afforded me conducive training conditions and enabled me prepare for this performance with a cool head,” Ruth Marie Christelle Gbagbi asserted.
The world champion made her first moves in taekwondo at the age of 9. She was later spotted by Master George Mezi, after she registered in a club, and he is the one who groomed the champion she is today. Born on 7 February 1994 in Abidjan, Ruth Marie Christelle Gbagbi, is also an Olympic bronze medallist, a three-time African champion, medallist at the World University Games and Vice world champion (team).