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Africa seeking for talent to replace old success generation
25 Apr 2019 10:45
Tunisia, Algeria are always the top nations at African Championships. Usually followed by Egypt, Morocco and a big midfield that includes South Africa that is the host for the 2019 edition of the African Senior Judo Championships.
Judo is back in Cape town where in 2011 the World Junior Championships were held. In that event none of the Africans won a medal and despite the rare talent, Africa has to work hard to keep its position in world judo. The African Championships are at least a milestone of the internal strength that is actually more and more influenced by foreign successful athletes such as 'judo mothers' Taciana Lima-Cesar (GBS) and Sarah Mazouz (GAB) and French athletes like Assmaa Niang (MOR) or French athletes fighting for Algeria like Mewen Ferey Mondesir. Faye Njie fights for Gambia, recently Marie Branser announced her presence for The Democratic Republic of Congo but she doesn’t fight here in Cape Town yet.
Cape Town University's Indoor Sports Hall will look out for Unelle Snyman, third-seeded in the women’s under 78kg who is the highest seeded South African in the World Ranking (49).
Over all countries Egyptian Ramadan Darwish is obviously a top world player who is completely back in the scene U100kg. Assmaa Niang (WRL-7) will likely dominate the category U70kg and Nihel Cheikhrouhou is a strong heavyweight for Tunisia. Naming those three top athletes, they have all passed the 30 and the need for talent in Africa is high.
Lightweight Issam Bassou (MOR) might have a chance U60kg this edition. Also Moroccan Soumiya Iraoui is successful U57kg. The World Ranking for Juniors looks better for Africa than the reality. Thanks to the IJF World Tour for Juniors the Africans have a place in the top 10 in almost each category, but usually points gained where other parts of the world rarely visit. Africa is urged to show its talent in the road to Tokyo 2020 as it cannot rely on wild cards and continental places only. So far that is the trend.
Interesting to see is that some of the international referees get a place in the World Tour with some former athletes Sami Mekni, Hisham Mesbah and Fary Seye.
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Sten Luiten (NED)