France’s Souleymane Cissokho boxed his way to a superb Olympic Welterweight bronze medal at Rio 2016, only losing to eventual champion Daniyar Yeleussinov in the Semi-Final. Two years before, his gold medal at the World University Boxing Championships in Russia had set him on the right path for Olympic success, and we caught up with him to hear how the experience at the tournament was.
What are your abiding memories of the 2014 World University Boxing Championships?
I have really good memories of those Championships in Yakutsk, although it is the coldest city I have ever been to! The crowd was great and the excellent organisation was also really impressive, the multi-lingual volunteers helped us to feel at home.
How did that competition help your career?
It really helped me a lot. The title I won there gave me greater confidence in myself and my abilities and helped me to make a big step forward. It was an important part of my Olympic journey and a stepping stone for my career.
What would be your advice for those boxers competing for medals at this year’s competition?
My advice is just for the athletes to really enjoy the experience to the fullest. We are all part of a very beautiful sport that we call the noble art, so it is important to behave in a noble fashion during competition. I wish all of them good luck and to train hard because that is where success comes from.