|100 Metres||10.78||+1.6||Montverde, FL||11 JUN 2016|
|200 Metres||22.24||-0.5||Monaco (Stade Louis II)||19 JUL 2013|
|400 Metres||54.77||01 JAN 2008|
|60 Metres||6.99||Birmingham (NIA), GBR||16 FEB 2013|
|200 Metres||22.80||College Station, TX||13 MAR 2009|
|2016||10.78||+1.6||Montverde, FL||11 JUN|
|2015||10.81||+1.7||Eugene (Hayward Field), OR||30 MAY|
|2014||10.97||+0.8||Monaco (Stade Louis II)||18 JUL|
|2012||10.99||+1.3||London (Olympic Stadium)||03 AUG|
|2011||11.06||+1.9||Greensboro, NC||15 MAY|
|2010||11.41||-0.8||Atlanta, GA||15 MAY|
|2010||11.41||0.0||Atlanta, GA||14 MAY|
|2009||11.09||-0.9||Greensboro, NC||30 MAY|
|2008||11.45||-0.4||Tallahassee, FL||30 MAY|
|2007||11.34||+2.0||Sacramento, CA||06 JUN|
|2006||11.42||+1.7||Greensboro, NC||26 MAY|
|2016||22.52||+0.1||Rio de Janeiro (Estádio Olímpico)||15 AUG|
|2015||22.29||+1.6||Doha (Hamad Bin Suhaim)||15 MAY|
|2014||22.36||-0.1||Marrakech (Le Grande Stade)||14 AUG|
|2013||22.24||-0.5||Monaco (Stade Louis II)||19 JUL|
|2012||22.42||+1.5||Oslo (Bislett)||07 JUN|
|2009||22.78||+0.5||Fayetteville, AR||11 JUN|
|2008||23.50||-0.5||Tallahassee, FL||30 MAY|
|2007||23.34||+1.0||Gainesville, FL||26 MAY|
|2006||23.33||+0.4||Princeton, NJ||14 MAY|
|2015||7.05||New York (Armory), NY||14 FEB|
|2014||7.01||Sopot (Ergo Arena)||09 MAR|
|2013||6.99||Birmingham (NIA), GBR||16 FEB|
|2012||7.04||Istanbul (Ataköy Arena)||11 MAR|
|2011||7.30||Houston, TX||29 JAN|
|2010||7.25||State College, PA||29 JAN|
|2009||7.17||Lexington, KY||17 JAN|
|2008||7.32||Fairfax, VA||26 JAN|
|2007||7.33||Boston (Roxbury), MA||04 MAR|
|2009||22.80||College Station, TX||13 MAR|
|2008||23.74||Boston (Roxbury), MA||09 MAR|
|2007||23.56||Fayetteville, AR||09 MAR|
|IAAF World Indoor Championships 2014||2||7.01||Sopot (Ergo Arena)||09 MAR 2014|
|IAAF World Indoor Championships 2012||2||7.04||Istanbul (Ataköy Arena)||11 MAR 2012|
|The XXXI Olympic Games||4sf1||11.01||+1.0||Rio de Janeiro (Estádio Olímpico)||13 AUG 2016|
|15th IAAF World Championships||4sf3||10.98||-0.2||Beijing (National Stadium)||24 AUG 2015|
|14th IAAF World Championships||2||10.93||-0.3||Moskva (Luzhniki)||12 AUG 2013|
|The XXX Olympic Games||7||11.00||+1.5||London (Olympic Stadium)||04 AUG 2012|
Focus on Athletes biographies are produced by the IAAF Communications Dept, and not by the IAAF Statistics and Documentation Division. If you have any enquiries concerning the information, please use the Contact IAAF page, selecting ‘Focus on Athletes Biographies’ in the drop down menu of contact area options.
Updated 26 July 2016
Murielle AHOURE, Ivory Coast (Sprints)
Born 23 August 1987, Abidjan (Ivory Coast)
Coach: Dennis Mitchell
Although she was born in Abidjan, Murielle Ahouré has hardly lived in her parents’ country. The stepdaughter of a highly ranked military officer, General Mathias Doué, chief of staff to the Armed Forces of Ivory Coast from 2000 until 2004, moved to France before age 3. She later had stays in China, Japan and Germany and returned to the Ivory Coast around age 11, before moving back to France 2 years later. By the time she was 14, Doué sent his family to the United States for more safety, and she landed in Bristow, Virginia, with mother Chantal, her 2 brothers and her sister.
Ahouré discovered athletics in her sophomore year at Hayfield Secondary – Alexandria, Virginia. The new kid in school, she was feeling lonely, so her guidance counselor suggested her to join a team as a way to make new friends and introduced her to coach TD Holsclaw two weeks after the beginning of the outdoor track season. It was not long before her talent was acknowledged. Two weeks, later she ran the 200-meter leg of the sprint medley and it was like, 'Whoa! Who is that?' Holsclaw remembers. Ahouré then competed for three years at Hayfield Secondary. By the time of her senior year in high school, when she started receiving scholarships offers she realised “Hey, this is cool. I can do this.”
In September 2005, she joined George Mason University, which allowed her to stay close to home, to start criminal law studies. Under the guidance of head coach Angie Taylor, she lowered her times to 7.47 in the 60m and 24.04 in the 200m during the 2006 indoor season. She achieved 11.42 in the 100m and 23.33 in the 200m during the summer season and took part to the heats of the 100m and 200m at the NCAA championships and USA Junior championships.
OK, all data confirmed
In 2007, she improved to 7.33 and 23.56 indoors and did 11.41 and 23.34 outdoors. She advanced to the semi-finals of the NCAA championships in the 100m but injured herself during that race and was therefore unable to take part to the 200m.
In 2008 she took part in the heats of the NCAA championships and finished eighth in the semi-finals of the 200m. Her season’s bests remained about the same level as the previous year (11.45 in the 100m and 23.50 in the 200m). At the end of the university year, Ahouré decided to transfer to Miami for her last university season on the invitation of coach Amy Deem – who was also guiding the career of US sprinter Lauryn Williams. It was a big change both in terms of climate and training regimen, “the hardest thing being adjusting to the weight program and also practicing right after,” Ahouré declared.
Results were not long to come, however. She started the 2009 indoor season with a bang, breaking Lauryn William’s 60m school record in her first outing (7.17 on 17 January at the Kentucky Invitational). She then successively lowered her 200m indoor record from 23.26 to 23.14, 23.02, and 22.80 – 2009 world best – to take the NCAA indoor title on March 14. This result came a little bit as a shock for the athlete, who didn’t consider the 200m as her strongest event. Outdoors, after a couple of races in the 11.30ies, she broke Ivory Coast’s 100m national record twice, clocking 11.14 and 11.09 on 29 and 30 May. She also dipped twice below 23 seconds in the 200m in wind-aided races. She had her best showing at the NCAA outdoor championships, finishing seventh in the 100m in Fayetteville on 12 June (11.41) and fourth in the 200m the following day in a legal 22.78.
Ahouré graduated in December 2009 at University of Miami with a degree in criminal Law. 2010 didn’t bring too much, besides a 7.25 in the 60m indoors, as she got injured in May and had to cut her season short. At that time she also decided to leave Miami for Houston to train under Jamaican coach Allen Powell in a group that also included Laverne Jones-Ferrette of the US Virgin Islands and Trinidad’s Aaron Armstrong amongst others. 2011 was marked by a new national record of 11.06 in the 100m on 15 May in Greensboro. The sprinter also made the headlines on 4 June in Clermont Florida, when she clocked a wind-assisted 10.86.
Although her performances had been clearly world class since 2009, Ahouré had yet to make her debut on the international scene and, as such, was not very well known beyond sprinting circles before 2012. Until the days just before the 2012 World Indoors, the young sprinter in fact would have been unable to re-enter the US if she had left the country and so had had to end the previous seasons as early as June while her US-based colleagues would move on to the European circuit. The situation was positively resolved just in time for Ahouré to make her international debut for Ivory Coast at the 2012 World Indoor Championships. As she headed to Istanbul with the fifth best time in the world in 2012 (7.08 on 11 February in Fayetteville), it seemed to be only a matter of time before she started reaping her first international laurels and make a name for herself worldwide.
Ahouré came really close to stealing the show, being overtaken for gold by Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown in the very final metres of the race. The silver medal with a new PB of 7.04 was still a considerable achievement – the first medal for Ivory Coast at a World Indoor Championships – and her first stop on the way back to the US was Abidjan, where she was invited to a reception with President Alassane Ouattara. She used that opportunity to encourage the youth of Ivory Coast and especially girls to get more active into sports.
From mid-April to mid-May, Ahouré competed in the US and the Caribbean, with highlights being a 23.13w (wind just above the legal limit) in Austin on 14 April as well as 11.14 and 23.63 at the Cayman Invitational on 9 May before travelling to Europe where she made a big impression with a 100m victory and new national record (11.00) at the Roma Diamond League on 31 May. A week later she also improved the 200m national record (22.42) finishing first in Oslo. Her third major win of the season happened in the Paris leg of the Diamond League on 6 July (22.55). On 14 July, at her last Diamond League outing, the young sprinter had a first taste of London, where she finished 4th of the 100m (11.13) in difficult weather conditions,
Following those promising results Murielle Ahouré headed to her first Olympic with high ambition, hoping to end Ivory Coast’s medal drought since Gabriel Tiacoh’s silver in the 400m in 1984. Although she was in top shape in London, lowering her 100m national record to 10.99 in the heats, it was not enough to battle for the medals. She finished 7th in the 100m (11.00) and took the 6th place in the 200m (22.57) behind the Americans and the Jamaicans.
On the closing day of the Olympics, Sunday 12 August, Ahouré was in for an unpleasant surprise when she discovered that her passport and all her identifications had been stolen in her room at the Olympic Village -
very likely by one of the runaway athletes from her country. For a moment she feared she would be stranded in London and would have to cancel her forthcoming Diamond League appearances. But thanks to the diligence of the Ivory Coast’s ambassador in London, a new passport was shipped from Abidjan in 2 days, and the visa for Sweden secured in less than 48 hours to allow the sprinter to land in Stockholm on 15 August for the DL meet two days later. However, she failed to make an impression on that night, finishing a distant 7th in the 200m (23.21), losing her lead in the Diamond League in the process.
Unlike many other top athletes who preferred to take a longer break after the Olympic Games, the Ivorian opted for a full indoor season in 2013. It was a choice that paid off as the sprinter asserted herself as one of the winter’s stars. In her first outing at home in Houston on 26 January, she broke the African 60m indoor record of 7.02 held jointly by Nigerians Christy Opara-Thompson and Chioma Ajunwa, clocking 7.00. She remained undefeated throughout the season with victories in Boston (7.07), Düsseldorf (7.08), Val de Reuil (7.06) and then stole the show in Birmingham on 16 February with a sub-7 (6.99). Her performance was all the more spectacular in that she defeated pre-race favourites 100m Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Olympic silver medallist Carmelita Jeter. All in all, in 4 weeks Ahouré bagged the 2013 world lead, the African record and rose to the 7th rank in the all-time lists for the event.
Following her successful winter campaign, Ahouré continued to cement her place in the world’s elite throughout the summer, further lowering her times in the 100 and 200m. In the 100m, the Ivorian dipped 4 times below her 10.99 best from the 2012 Olympic heat, clocking a windy 10.98 (+2.2) in Eugene on 1 June for 5th before breaking her national record with a 10.91 unchallenged victory at a French national meet in Sotteville-lès-Rouen; at the London Anniversary Games she achieved 10.98 and 10.95 but that was just enough for 5th on a day when Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce dashed to the finish in 10.77 in the heats while Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare set a new African record of 10.79 in final. Meanwhile, she dominated her three 200m outings. She did a 100-200m double in Puerto Rico on 18 May (11.09/22.47) before making the headlines with her impressive defeat of 2012 Olympic champion Allyson Felix on 6 June at the Diamond League in Rome (22.36 NR to 22.64). On 19 July, in the Monaco DL she stormed to another national record, 22.24 to finish ahead of USA’s Tiffany Townsend and Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. With the 8th fastest time in the world in the 100m in 2013 and the second behind Pryce’s 22.13 in the 200m, the 200m appeared definitely as the event where she stood a better chance to bring back the world medal she promised to bring to her country during a private audience with the Ivory Coast’s Sports Minister on 19 June. But in Moscow, drawing on her Olympic experience, feeling stronger and better equipped to deal with pressure, Murielle Ahouré came through strong at the end of the 100m, edging defending champion Carmelita Jeter by 0.01 in 10.93 to claim silver behind Fraser-Pryce. She thus made history by becoming the first athlete from Ivory Coast to win medal in a World Championships and the first African woman to win a medal in the 100m or the 200m in a World Championships. Four days later she repeated that feat in the 200m finishing second to Fraser-Pryce in 22.32, which sealed her status as a national hero.
Murielle Ahouré was honored by a triumphal reception on her return to Abidjan on 9 September, receiving accolades from state and tribal authorities. She was granted audience by President Alassane Ouattara to present her medals and was awarded the rank of Chevalier of the National Order of Merit. She was made ambassador for the Ministry of Family, Women and Children and for the Historic Town of Grand Bassam, a UNESCO World Heritage site and was also crowned Queen of the Sanwi Kingdom in Krinjabo and of the N’Zima Kotoko kingdom in Grand Bassam on her ancestors’ lands. At the end of the year, the World double silver medallist signed a partnership with mobile telecommunications company MTN and was named Ivory Coast’ best Sportsperson of the year, succeeding to no less than football star Didier Drogba!
In 2014, Ahouré maintained her domination on the indoor circuit with the world lead and three victories in three outings, two of them in her Houston home base (7.05 on 17 January and 7.03 on 1 February) and the third one in Birmingham on 15 February. That race ended in a close finish with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce as both athletes crossed the line in the same hundredth (7.10), highlighting the duel between the Jamaican and the Ivorian as a key moment to watch for the World Indoor Championships in Sopot. In Poland though, Fraser-Pryce had the upper hand on Ahouré, catching her in the final metres of the race to win in 6.98. Ahouré clocked a season’s best of 7.01 for her second successive silver at the World Indoors.
For the opening of the outdoor season, the sprinter competed for the first time in front of her home crowd at the Gabriel Tiacoh meet in Abidjan, where she won the 100m in 11.06. She then clocked 22.61 for her first 200m one month later, in Eugene. In mid-June, she was fifth of the 200m in Oslo (22.99), where she had set her European base for the season. She started to lower her times in the 100m in July, clocking two sub-11 in Lausanne (2nd in 10.98) and Monaco (3rd in 10.97).
She wasn’t able to conquer the African 100m title in August in Marrakech though, suffering defeat (11.00 to 11.03) against Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare, who had clocked 10.85 two weeks earlier to win the Commonwealth Games. She made up for it with a victory in the 200m with a strong performance of 22.36 in difficult weather conditions (hot and windy). Even though she had earned her selection in the African team for the IAAF Continental Cup in September, Ahouré pulled out from the competition, after ending her season with a second place in Zürich (11.04).
In 2015, Ahouré remained undefeated throughout the indoor season, winning in Houston, New York (in a world leading 7.05), Birmingham and Malmö. She opened her international season with a second place in the 200m in Doha (22.29) before shattering her 100m national record in Eugene, where she finished in 10.81 in the same hundredth as the winner Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.
She then claimed her first 100m victory in the Diamond League in Oslo (11.03 with a 0.6 headwind) and took part in three other meets in Lausanne (22.36), Paris Saint-Denis (11.04) and London (11.01) before heading to Beijing for the World Championships. After advancing from the heats (3rd in 11.10), Ahouré only placed fourth in her semi-final in 10.98 and missed the final by one hundredth of a second. It turned out she had been running on a knee injury, and the sprinter was unable to take the start of the 200m.
Ahouré then returned to the US for treatment and also opted for a coaching change, joining Justin Gatlin in Dennis Mitchell’s group in Florida. It took a long time, however, before she was able to resume normal training, which forced her to miss the indoor season. “I could not walk or jog for a long time. It took eight months of rehab” she declared upon her return to competition.
In March 2016, Ahouré travelled to Ivory Coast for the official launch of her foundation, which aims to help bring back sport in school, assist children’s education and empower underprivileged women and children. The foundation started its activities with the distribution of 23 scholarships to children and students, the renovation of a classroom at the College Moderne Plateau secondary school and an 8,500 dollars donation for the renovation of the Yamoussoukro athletics training centre that bears her name.
She progressively returned to competition with a relay leg at the Florida Relays in April. She clocked 11.16 in Nassau on 16 April before dropping her time to 11.06 in Gainesville six days later. She then joined the international circuit for the start of the Diamond League, clocking 11.06 for fourth in Doha before claiming a confidence-boosting victory on the 200m in Shanghai mid-May (22.72). She was third in Eugene in 11.01 and made the headlines two weeks later when she set a new African record at the Star Athletics Pro Meet in Montverde, Florida on 11 June.
After running a marginally wind-aided 10.80 (2.1m/s) in the preliminary rounds, she won the final in 10.78 (1.6m/s) ahead of Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown who was a runner-up in 10.83. The performance, which eclipsed the previous record of 10.79 held by Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare, was a three hundredths of a second improvement on her previous best from 2015. The great favourite for the African championships held in Durban (South Africa) at the end of June, Ahouré brought the expected laurels to her country, claiming the 100m title in 10.99.
The sprinter from Ivory Coast is heading to Rio as the third best performer in the world on the 100m this season. But her eyes are all set on the Olympic gold. “I have a goal, it is the Olympic gold, and I do everything in training to fulfill that goal”.
When she’s not on the track, Murielle Ahouré loves shopping and fashion. Cooking is also a huge hobby for her. As she was born in Ivory Coast, she cooks a lot of African food.
60m: 6.99 NR (2013)
100m: 10.78 AR (2016)
200m: 22.24 NR (2013)
60m – 2006: 7.47; 2007: 7.33; 2008:7.35; 2009: 7.17 NR; 2010: 7.25; 2011: 7.30; 2012: 7.04 NR; 2013: 6.99 NR; 2014: 7.01; 2015: 7.05; 2016: -
100m – 2005: 11.96w; 2006: 11.42; 2007: 10.34 (11.28w); 2008: 11.45; 2009: 11.09 NR; 2010: 11.41; 2011: 11.06 NR (10.86w); 2012: 10.99 NR; 2013: 10.91 NR; 2014: 10.97; 2015: 10.81 NR; 2016: 10.78 NR
200m – 2006: 23.33; 2007:23.34; 2008: 23.50; 2009: 22.78; 2010: -; 2011: 22.31w; 2012: 22.42 NR; 2013: 22.24 NR; 2014: 22.36; 2015: 22.29; 2016: 22.72
2009 5th NCAA Indoor Championships, College Station - 60m (7.27)
2009 7th NCAA Championships, Fayetteville - 100m (11.41)
2009 4th NCAA Championships, Fayetteville - 200m (22.98)
2012 2nd World Indoor Championships, Istanbul - 60m (7.04)
2012 7th Olympic Games, London - 100m (11.00) (10.99h)
2012 6th Olympic Games, London - 200m (22.57)
2013 2nd World Championships , Moscow - 100m (10.93)
2013 2nd World Championships , Moscow - 200m (22.32)
2014 2nd World Indoor Championships, Sopot - 60m (7.01)
2014 2nd African Championships, Marrakech - 100m (11.03)
2014 1st African Championships, Marrakech - 200m (22.36)
2015 sf World Championships, Beijing - 100m (10.98)
2016 1st African Championships, Durban - 100m (10.99)
2016 3rd African Championships, Durban – 4x100m (44.29)
Prepared by Carole Fuchs for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2012-2016