Hughes-Fabrice Zango is an engineer and a triple jump champion.
When he is not training for the Olympic Games, he is preparing his thesis in electrical engineering.
From 8AM to 4PM, Monday to Friday, Zango works as a researcher in the university laboratory.
After 6PM and during weekends, he trains in athletics with the French national sport institute (INSEP).
“The company was very magnanimous,” Zango, said.
“When I told them about my status as a sportsman and my ambitions to achieve my dreams of the Olympics and all that, the company was very understanding and we just set ourselves goals. There you go, there is not necessarily this commitment in terms of hours and all that, it’s really achieved the objectives over time.”
Born in Kugudu, Burkina Faso, the 27 year-old moved to France last year to study at the Arthois University.
“He is determined,” Zango’s INSEP coach, Teddy Tamgho, a triple jump world champion.
“That is to say, when you know that you have an individual who leaves his country all alone, who comes to live in France, in addition to the north of France, and there is a big difference in climate with his native country, and who adapts perfectly, who excels academically, who also excels athletically… excuse the term, but he ‘reeks’ of determination.”
Zango’s busy schedule and hard work are paying.
At the 2016 Summer Olympics, Zango ranked 34th best out of 47 athletes for the triple jump.
In 2019, he won the bronze medal at the World Championships in Doha.
Next week, he will be competing at the French Championships in southwestern France.