ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (GNB) – The short story developed by Gabriel Robichaud, entitled Char (Car in English), captured the interest of jury members as he won the silver medal in literature at the VIIIth Jeux de la Francophonie, in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

Robichaud, 27 of Dieppe, presented his short story to the jury members and the public on Saturday. There were 24 news stories from competitors originating from 24 countries from around the world.

“I am excited by this medal because things happened so fast,’’ said Robichaud after the medal ceremony. “Somebody asked me for a New Brunswick flag behind the scenes and I did not know why. I am very happy and I wish to thank all the people who believed in me. This is another step in my career and a pat on the back. It’s terrific.’’

Gabriel told his story using the Acadian language and Southeastern New Brunswick expressions.

“This is a way for me to expand our language and keep it alive,’’ Robichaud said. ‘’I am not sure what attracted the attention of the jury members; the story, the language or the tale. I wrote something that got their attention and I am happy. This medal and the podium are another step for me and I want to keep going up one step at a time. I fully intend to continue writing. I am an actor who likes to write and a writer who enjoys acting. This is the basis for a future work of theatre and the games have given me this chance.”

In track and field, Moncton’s Alex Witmer finished in fifth place in the high jump competition. At just over 6 foot 5, he came out of a five-year retirement to compete this year. His jump was 2.08 metres, compared to his personal best of 2.19 metres five years ago.

“I did expect to do a little better, I felt great with this return on the field,’’ said Witmer. “It was cool to come back after a five-year retirement. I was happy with my day at the track. This is my first time in Africa and I really wanted to come here. I began my training eight months ago and it felt great. I have attended a few international meets, but this one is the best and the most relaxed. The spectators were great with their reactions.”

Chris Robertson is in sixth position after the first five events in the decathlon competition. He will have his last five events today.

Also today, Gabriel Traversy will begin the judo competition in the less-than-81kg category. Raphaël Butler and his musicians Mathieu Belliveau and Jason Arsenault will also be in the song competition, today.