Benin’s Yarigo wins her first global medal at the World Indoor Championships in Glasgow


History was made the World Indoor Championships in Glasgow as Noelie Yarigo clinched a bronze medal, marking a monumental achievement not just for herself but for her home country, Benin. This extraordinary feat etched her name as Benin’s first-ever global medalist in athletics, a testament to her resilience and unwavering dedication.

For years, Yarigo was known in the athletics circle primarily as a pacemaker, a role that, while crucial, often stays in the shadow of headline-grabbing victories. However, her transition from the backdrop to the global stage has been nothing short of cinematic. Her bronze medal-winning performance in Glasgow wasn’t just a win; it was a narrative of persistence, hard work, and belief transforming into tangible success.

Crossing the finish line, Yarigo’s reaction was one of pure astonishment and joy. She collapsed onto the track, hands covering her face, overwhelmed by the magnitude of her accomplishment. This image became symbolic of her journey from an under recognized pacemaker to a celebrated global medalist.

Reflecting on her victory, Yarigo shared, “There are so few people in my tiny country and they are with me, I am crying with happiness that I could win a medal for them. I am 38 but age is just a number for me. You just need to work very hard and believe in it.” Her time of 2:03.15 in the race wasn’t just a statistic; it was a statement that age and past roles do not define an athlete’s future potential.

Yarigo’s breakthrough serves as an inspiration, not only to her compatriots in Benin but to athletes worldwide, proving that barriers can be broken, and dreams can be achieved with determination and belief. Her story from pacemaker to podium is a vivid reminder that every athlete’s journey has the potential for greatness, regardless of its humble beginnings.

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