Ali Annabel, Amri Headed to Third Olympic Games

By William May

ALGIERS (April 2) – Marwa AMRI (TUN) and Laure ALI ANNABEL (CMR) made it three Olympic Games in a row Saturday with key semifinal victories at the Africa-Oceania qualifying tournament for this summer’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Amri combined a fireman’s carry and gut wrench to open up an 8-1 lead over local favorite Rabia LAMALSA (ALG) midway through their 58kg semifinal at Mohamed Boudiar Olympic Complex.

The eight-time Africa champion secured her ticket for Rio de Janiero with a double-leg takedown and then a penalty from Lamalsa for a 13-3 victory at 4:31.

All-Africa Games gold medalist Ali Annabel, meanwhile, turned away Blessing Joy ONYEBUCHI (NGR), 4-3, in the semifinals at 75kg -- a rematch of their championship final in Brazzaville last September.

Ali Annabel’s win denied Nigeria a chance to grab a sixth ticket in women’s wrestling for Rio 2016.

Nigeria booked four tickets on Saturday to join world bronze medalist at 53kg Odunayo ADEKUOROYE (NGR) on the road to Rio. Onyebuchi and Nigeria will have two chances to punch a sixth ticket at the world qualifying meets in Ulaanbaatar later this month or in Istanbul in May.

Ali Annabel will face another rematch Saturday evening – meeting Africa champion Samar HAMZA (EGY) in the 75kg gold medal final after her loss at the African championships in early March.

Also in the morning session, Isabelle SAMBOU (SEN) notched three wins at 53kg to sew up a return to the Olympic Games, where she will try to improve on her fifth-place finish at London 2012.

With one round of bouts remaining at 53kg, Sambou has 11 classification points and cannot be overtaken by any of the challengers in this five-wrestler Nordic-style contest 

Africa bronze medalist Joseph ESSOMBE TIAKO (CMR) is the closest to Sambou with 10 points, but receives the bye in the fifth round at 53kg.

At 48kg, Miesinnei GENESIS (NGR) has posted a pair of wins to head up this round-robin group of four wrestlers. The nearest challengers – Rebecca MUAMBO (CMR) and Hanene SALAOUNANDJI (ALG) – face each other with the winning taking the second ticket to Rio.

-- Results --

Women’s Wrestling

48kg (4 entries, Nordic system)

RR1 – Rebecca MUAMBO (CMR) df. Jessica LAVERS-McBAIN (AUS) by Fall, 0:32 (2-0)
RR1 – Miesinnei GENESIS (NGR) df. Hanene SALAOUNANDJI (ALG) by TF, 10-0, 3:43

RR2 – Hanene SALAOUNANDJI (ALG) df. Jessica LAVERS-McBAIN (AUS) by Fall, 1:20 (3-2)
RR2 – Miesinnei GENESIS (NGR) df. Rebecca MUAMBO (CMR), 7-2
RR3 – Jessica LAVERS-McBAIN (AUS) v Miesinnei GENESIS (NGR)

53kg (5 entries, Nordic system)

RR1 – Joseph ESSOMBE-TIAKO (CMR) df. Pia ROSENKRANZ (AUS) by TF, 10-0, 5:21
RR1 – Isabelle SAMBOU (SEN) df. Maroi MEZIEN (TUN), 9-0
RR1 – Kheira Chaimaa YAHIAOUI (ALG) – bye

RR2 – Joseph ESSOMBE-TIAKO (CMR) df. Kheira Chaimaa YAHIAOUI (ALG), 7-6
RR2 - Isabelle SAMBOU (SEN) df. Pia ROSENKRANZ (AUS) by TF, 10-0, 2:51
RR2 - Maroi MEZIEN (TUN) - bye
RR3 – Joseph ESSOMBE-TIAKO (CMR) df. Maroi MEZIEN (TUN), 8-6
RR3 – Kheira Chaimaa YAHIAOUI (ALG) df. Pia ROSENKRANZ (AUS) by Fall, 2:04 (4-2)
RR3 – Isabelle SAMBOU (SEN) - bye

RR4 – Maroi MEZIEN (TUN) df. Kheira Chaimaa YAHIAOUI (ALG) by Fall, 4:48 (8-0)
RR4 - Isabelle SAMBOU (SEN) df. Joseph ESSOMBE-TIAKO (CMR) by Fall, 1:08, (2-0)
RR4 - Pia ROSENKRANZ (AUS) – bye
RR5 – Isabell SAMBOU (SEN) v Kheira Chaimaa YAHIAOUI (ALG)
RR5 – Joseph ESSOMBE-TIAKO (CMR) – bye

58kg (6 entries)
Semifinal – Marwa AMRI (TUN) df. Rabia LAMALSA (ALG) by TF, 13-3, 4:31
Semifinal – Aminat ADENIYI (NGR) df. Safietou GOUDIABY (SEN) by Fall, 2:37 (3-0)

Gold – Marwa AMRI (TUN) v Aminat ADENIYI (NGR)
Bronze – Rabia LAMALSA (ALG) – No opponent
Bronze – Edwige NGONO EYIA  (SMR) v Safietou GOUDIABY (SEN)
63kg (8 entries)
Semifinal – Blessing OBORUDUDU (NGR) df. Amina BENABDERRAHM (ALG) by TF, 10-0, 0:51
Semifinal – Hela RIABI (TUN) df. Anta SAMBOU (SEN) by Fall, 1:50 (6-0)

Gold – Blessing OBORUDUDU (NGR) v Hela RIABI (TUN)
Bronze – Stevie KELLY (AUS) v Amina BENABDERRAHMA (ALG)
Bronze – Tayla FORD (NZL) v Anta SAMBOU (SEN)

69kg (6 entries)
Semifinal – Hannah RUEBEN (NGR) df. Houria BOUKRIF (ALG) by TF, 10-0, 1:50
Semifinal – Enas AHMED (EGY) df. Demos MEMNELOUM (CHA) by Fall, 2:57 (8-0)

Gold – Hannah RUEBEN (NGR) v Enas AHMED (EGY)
Bronze – Houria BOUKRIF (ALG) – no opponent
Bronze – Bladine METALA EPANGA (CMR) v Demos MEMNELOUM (CHA)

75kg (7 entries)
Semifinal – Samar HAMZA (EGY) df. Hajaratu KAMARA (SLE) by Fall, 0:35 (2-0)
Semifinal – Laure ANNABEL ALI (CMR) df. Blessing Joy ONYEBUCHI (NGR), 4-3

Gold – Samar HAMZA (EGY) v Laure ANNABEL ALI (CMR)
Bronze – Tassadit AMER (ALG) v Hajaratu KAMARA (SLE)
Bronze – Shantelle THOMPSON (AUS) v Blessing Joy ONYEBUCHI (NGR)