Tuesday,21 November, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1290, (7 - 13 April 2016)
Tuesday,21 November, 2017
Issue 1290, (7 - 13 April 2016)

Ahram Weekly

A volleyball first

Tala’a Al-Geish has won the 2016 men’s volleyball African Club Championship, in the process becoming Egypt’s representative in the world championship for the first time, Abeer Anwar reports

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Al-Ahram Weekly

Egypt’s Al-Geish has won the 2016 men’s volleyball African Club Championship after beating Tunisia’s four-time champions Esperance 3-1 (25-20, 23-25, 27-25, 25-21) in a thrilling final at Cairo Stadium. Al-Geish made its way to the final after defeating Libya’s Swehly 3-1 in the semi-finals. Esperance defeated Egypt’s Ahly, the defending champions, in the quarter-finals.

Egyptian side Smouha claimed the bronze medal after beating Swehly 3-2 (20-25, 25-21, 25-21, 18-25, and 15-9).

Because of the win, Al-Geish will represent Africa in the FIVB Men’s Club Championship later this year. It was the first African title for the Egyptian club in their sixth participation after winning a silver medal in Niger in 2007 and a bronze in Egypt in 2011. 

Esperance, who were playing in their ninth final, have now lost the last four consecutive finals.

Ahly, 11-time African champions, retreated to fifth place after defeating Espoir (DR Congo) 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, and 25-13) while arch-rivals Zamalek overcame FAP (Cameroon) 3-0 (25-22, 25-13, and 25-22) to finish in seventh place.

Rwandan league champions Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Education of Kibungo (INATEK) missed the event due to financial problems.

Al-Geish were the stars of their second ever final, outclassing Esperance in the first set 25-20. The seven-time finalists fought back in the second set to tie the score 1-1 after winning 25-23 but Al-Geish answered back by winning the two consecutive sets to end the match and the championship. Ahmed Salah of Al-Geish was fittingly named Most Valuable Player.

“I was very happy to have been able to help my teammates to reach the final and win the title,” Salah said. “We wanted to prove to everyone that Egyptians can do it if they want. I am also happy to have won two different titles in the event and I hope that our team will well represent Egypt in the World Clubs Championship especially since we will be facing the best teams in the world.”

After the match CAVB President Amr Elwani presented the top three teams with their medals and the trophy to Al-Geish. Magdi Al-Lozi, president of the Military Sports Organisation, and Fouad Abdel-Salam, the Egyptian Volleyball Federation president, were on hand for the ceremony.

“My team won the championship with their fighting spirit,” Sherif Al-Shemerli, Al-Geish coach, said. “They were up to the challenge and they felt that they had to win the title after both very experienced teams Ahly and Zamalek lost the chance to represent Egypt in the World Clubs Championship after losing. My players were determined to win although they fell in a very strong group, nicknamed the group of death, which included very strong teams like Esperance.”


Individual awards

BEST SERVER:  Ahmed Salah – Al-Geish (EGY)

BEST RECIEVER: Abdel Salam Belroos – Swehly (LBA)

BEST SETTER: Mehdi Ben Cheikh – EST (TUN)

BEST ATTACKER: Hichem Kaabi – EST (TUN)    

BEST BLOCKER: Mohamed Adel – Smouha (EGY)

BEST DIGGER: Mohamed Hossini – Al-Geish (EGY)

BEST LIBERO: Saddam Hmissi – EST (TUN)

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Ahmed Salah – Al-Geish (EGY)

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