Monday,21 May, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1343, (4 - 10 May 2017)
Monday,21 May, 2018
Issue 1343, (4 - 10 May 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Mat masters

Egyptians were victorious at the African Wrestling Championships with an impressive harvest of 16 gold medals, reports Inas Mazhar

Altogether 16 African nations took part in the four-day African Wrestling Championships in Marrakech, Morocco, and which included events for seniors, juniors and cadets in both Greco Roman and free wrestling for both men and women. 

What was remarkable about Egypt’s 16 gold medals is that the men's team managed to win five of the eight gold in Greco-Roman. The Pharaohs were led by Ahmed Saad who repeated as champion at 98kg. Impressively, Saad, an Olympian and All-Africa Games champion, won all four of his matches by technical falls and surrendered only one point on his way to the title. 

Egypt’s other gold medalists in Greco-Roman were won by Abou-Halima Ahmed (66kg), Ibrahim Ghanem (71kg), Mohamed Metwalli (85kg) and Abdel-Latif Mohamed (130kg).

Abou-Halima, a 2012 Olympian, won by fall over Algeria's Tarek Bnaissa in the gold medal match at 66kg. It was his first African title in five years. Ghanem, a 2015 World Military Games bronze medalist, was pushed in a couple of matches but came through to win the title at 71kg. Metwalli won an African title as a cadet in 2010, but claimed his first senior African title. 

Mustafa Abdel-Moteleb

Abdel-Latif Mohamed won the title at 130kg with two falls and an injury default victory. At 80kg, it was a battle of returning champions as Bachir Sid Azara of Algeria edged Mahmoud Sebie of Egypt 6-4. Last year Sebie was an Africa champion at 75kg. Abdennour Laouni (59kg) joined Sid Azara as a Greco-Roman champion for Algeria. 

In free wrestling and led by defending champion Diaaeddin Abdel-Moteleb (125kg), Egypt bagged three gold medals on the final day of the championship on Sunday. Abdel-Moteleb, who finished ninth at the Olympic Games in Rio, outscored his opposition 19-1 in two matches at 125kg. Egypt’s other gold medals were won by Sami Mustafa (74kg) and Mahmoud Badawi (86kg).

Mustafa Abdel-Moteleb

Mustafa, who won a silver medal in the junior freestyle competition earlier in the week, opened with two technical falls to reach the finals against Ali Ayari of Tunisia. In the finals, Mustafa gave up the first point off the shot clock, but scored a takedown late in the first period to go up 2-1. He would add two more points off step outs to win 4-2.

Badawi added a senior gold in freestyle after winning a junior gold on Friday. In the finals he topped defending champion Mohamed Saadaoui of Tunisia by injury default. Badawi built a 4-0 lead on the strength of two takedowns but Saadaoui battled back to take the lead with a takedown and two-point exposure. Saadaoui added a point off a step out in the second period to go up 5-4. Badawi came back with two takedowns off leg attacks to regain the lead at 8-5. The two locked up in the final 15 seconds, and Saadaoui suffered an injury to his left leg and was unable to continue.

Nada Mohamed

In the cadet category Egypt won two gold medals. Nada Mohamed claimed the gold in 43kg while Ahmed Khalil won the gold in 100kg.

After winning the two cadet gold, Egypt grabbed six gold in the junior competitions. Hassan Mohamed (60kg), Mohamed Al-Sayed (74kg) and Ahmed Ahmed (84kg) bagged gold in junior Greco-Roman. Ahmed Mohamed (60kg) and Amr Hussein (66kg) finished on top in junior freestyle. Nada Mohamed (44kg) won gold in the junior women’s.

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