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Old African generation hard to topple at flagship event
27 Apr 2019 19:45
As expected in our preview of the African Championships Algeria and Tunisia became the strongest nations of Africa, both collected four titles in Cape Town followed by Egypt, also not a surprise with three gold medals. The details of the surprises can be found in the names and order of the medals.
Senegal won the heavyweight category and its only title at this championship. Big boy Mbagnick Ndiaye took the gold after defeating Mohamed Belrekaa (ALG) in the final. Multiple African Champion Faicel Jaballah finished fifth.
Usually Tunisia dominated the heavyweight categories in men and women and Nihel Cheikh Rouhou made no exception this 2019 edition and captured her 20st African title in her career, amazing numbers for this Tunisian legend. In the final Cheikh Rouhou overcame Cameroon threat Hortence Mballa who still develops so strong internationally, but Cheikh Rouhou didn’t want to give away her title.
Algeria was strong on the last day of the individual Championships with two titles for Kaouthar Ouallal U78kg and Lyes Bouyacoub U100kg. The average age of today’s winners was over 30 years, which says enough about the lack of pure talent at world level and even at African level to get the old strong generation from the throne. Heavyweight Ndiaye (25) was the only young exception who succeeded.
Ouallal (28) won her category U78kg where everything was possible with women that had about the same level which gave South Africa the opportunity to take a beautiful silver medal for Unelle Snyman. Ouallal defeated Sarah Mazouz in the semi-final.
35-Year old Lyes Bouyacoub still matters in Africa. The Algerian fighter U100kg won his 14th medal and fifth African title defeating Ramadan Darwish (31) of Egypt. That can be seen as a massive surprise as Darwish is in a great shape in his second youth but Bouyacoub showed Darwish is vulnerable. Dominic Dugasse (33-SEY) was the third veteran on the podium.
The gold for men U90kg was for Egyptian Hatem Abd el Akher (32) won his 8th African medal and third title in his career. In the final he overcame Algerian Abderrahmane Benamadi (33) for the gold medal.
Ghofran Khelifi was the youngest champion in Cape town aged 20, four champions were over 30 and today’s finals were typical for the situation in Africa where the youngsters really need to take over and have to capture an international position quickly. So far only a few athletes met that hope. Despite the title for 32-year old Cheikh Rouhou today Tunisia is the country with the best future with 7 medals and three in the age of 20-21-22.
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Ilia Sulamanidze (GEO)