With two gold medals, two silver and seven bronze, Egypt finished third in the overall standings of the African Judo Seniors Championships held in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
The Algerians were the champions of the 38th edition with a record nine gold medals, five silver and six bronze while Tunisia ended second with three gold, seven silver and one bronze medal.
But the Egyptian judokas all managed to make it to the semi-finals of all the weight categories they played in. As such, they all one at least one medal each.
In the -66kg, Ahmed Ali claimed the bronze medal after losing the semi-final to Algeria’s Houd Zourdani who later beat his compatriot Wael Ezzine to claim the gold medal.
“Ali was the gold medalist in last year’s edition of the African championships in Tunisia but it was in the -60kg,” said coach Bassem Al-Husseini. “He changed his weight category to -66 months ago. He did great, displaying strong performances in all the matches he played but lost only because of bad luck,” Al-Husseini said.
Shafik (far left)
Mohamed Mohi clinched Egypt’s first gold medal on the first day of the competition in -73kg, beating Gambia’s Faye Yegbi in the final. Teammate Omar Mahmoud, the youngest player in the tournament, took a surprise bronze medal in the same weight category, beating South Africa’s Nicolaas Louw in the play-off match for the bronze medal.
“We’re glad to have registered Omar for this championship though he is still 18 which means that he still has three years to go in junior championships. We believed in his capabilities and talent and thought it was good experience for him to play against the seniors and he met our expectations and claimed the bronze,” said Al-Husseini.
Mohamed Abdel-Aal added Egypt’s second gold in the -81kg weight category beating Tunisia’s Abdel-Aziz Ben Ammar in the final whereas teammate Ali Hazem beat Morocco’s Achraf Mouti for the bronze medal in the same weight category.
Darwish (far right);
In -90kg, Hatem Abdel-Akher claimed the bronze medal after beating Cameroon’s Diendonne Dolasseur in the play-off match. Unfortunately, Egypt’s champion Ramadan Darwish failed to defend his title in the -100kg event losing to Algeria’s Lyes Bou Yacoub in the final which was a repeat of the 2016 final in Tunisia. But this year, the Algerian avenged his loss and captured the gold medal from Darwish who had to settle for the silver.
In the +100kg, Maisaraa Al-Naggar collected a silver medal losing to another Algerian mighty, Nadjib Temmar in the final match of the heavyweight contest. Al-Naggar also took part in the open category but this time he garnered only the bronze medal after beating Algeria’s Faical Jaballah for third place.
In the women’s -78kg, Alaa Hamed placed fifth after a loss in the semi-final to Tunisia’s Sarra Mazougui, then lost the play-off for the bronze to Cameroun’s Audrey Dilane Njapa. Teammate Kariman Shafik also finished fifth in the +78kg after losing to Senegal’s Monica Sagna. However, Shafik managed to win the bronze medal in the open category after beating Madagascar’s Elizabeth Nomenjanahary for the bronze medal. In the -52kg, Nouran Adam was also fifth.
Mohi and Mahmoud (middle)
The three-day event concluded on Sunday 16 April with the team event. The Egyptians won the bronze medal after beating hosts Madagascar in the quarter-finals, then losing to the eventual winners Algeria in the semis. Egypt then took on Angola in the play-off for the bronze medal and made it to the podium.
The gold medal went to the Algerians while the silver went to Tunisia.