Spikes13 Dec 2017

"Never say you can’t"


Ben Youssef Meite competes at the 2016 Olympics in Rio (© Getty Images)

Ivorian sprinter Ben Youssef Meite has experienced the ups and downs of life as an elite athlete first hand. The national 100m record holder shares some of the things he's learnt along the way.

Championship tip

Be confident, trust in the work you have put in and never say you can’t! The sky is not the limit because there is no limit.

I would also say be focused and serious because track and field is a short career of maybe ten years. You need to make the most of every championship opportunity.

Psychological tip

Track and field is not for everyone, so it is important to be smart. Many people will give you advice but it is important to listen and understand. The best athletes are the ones who pay attention and understand.

Coaching tip

For me any coaching tips are a secret between my coach and I, haha!

Technical tip

There are many technical elements to the sprint, but for me you really have to work through the drive phase. That is the key.

Top tip for surviving the athletics circuit

If you are travelling through time zones and suffer from jet-lag, my advice is to try adapt to the new time zone as quickly as possible.

If I am in the team hotel, I try to occupy my time and give myself something to do. If I just stay in the hotel room, I might be tempted to fall asleep during the day, so I try to avoid this happening.

Ben Youssef Meite after winning the 100m at the All-Africa Games

Cooking tip

I love the food of my country, Ivory Coast. My favourite is Attieke [similar to couscous] and fish. I like to have this at least once a week.

Fashion tip

I’m not really into fashion. Any interest I may have had stopped four or five years ago as I focused totally on track.

Driving tip

I love speed, but I would say make sure you drive safely! In all my time living in Canada I have never got a speeding ticket.

Vacation tip

The beach. For me, this is the best as it allows me the time to think about nothing and free my mind. After working hard all year it is my time to take things slowly and relax. This is why a vacation at the beach is best for me.

Dating tip

It is important to present yourself in a good way, to be the best dressed you can be and to be a good person.