Amri extends record African streak with Oborududu in chase

By Vinay Siwach

EL JADIDA, Morocco (May 21) -- Two Olympic medalists were entered at the African Championships and both ended up extending their record title streaks at the tournament.

Rio bronze medalist Marwa AMRI (TUN) extended her record streak of African gold medals to 12 as Tokyo silver medalist Blessing OBORUDUDU (NGR) kept herself in the chase by winning her 11th gold Saturday.

Amri won her first African title in 2009 at 53kg while Oborududu achieved the feat in 2010 and since then the Nigerian has not been able to overtake Amri in the race.

Oborududu and Amri opted for a similar approach on Saturday, destroying their competition with ease. In the process of winning the gold, both did not give up a single point in their bouts.

Amri began the day with a resounding 10-0 win over Mastoura SOUDANI (ALG) in Round 1 of the Nordic bracket at 62kg. Then she leg-laced Françoise RASOARIMALALA (MAD) for another 10-0 win before securing a fall over Safietou GOUDIABY (SEN) in the semifinal.

The final against Patience OPUENE (NGR) followed a similar script as Amri won 10-0 and claimed her 12th straight title.

Blessing OBORUDUDU (NGR)Blessing OBORUDUDU (NGR) won four out of her five bouts via fall. (Photo: UWW / Bayrem Ben Mrad)

Oborududu wrestled five bouts to win the gold -- four of those were victories via fall. Only Menatalla BADRAN (EGY) managed to avoid a fall against Oborududu.

Her first victim was Houria BOUKRIF (ALG) who got pinned in Round 1 after Oborududu had scored six points. Blandine NGIRI (CMR) fell in Round 2 while Rosie TABORA (COD) was pinned in the semifinal.

Badran, who had survived the fall during qualification, could not repeat in the final in which Oborududu got a big four before securing the fall.

Odunayo ADEKUOROYE (NGR)Odunayo ADEKUOROYE (NGR) now has seven African titles. (Photo: UWW / Bayrem Ben Mrad)

Another Nigerian who starred in El Jadida was world silver medalist Odunayo ADEKUOROYE (NGR), winning the 59kg gold medal for her seventh straight African title.

The Tokyo Olympian moved a weight up from her normal 57kg but still managed to outclass the field scoring 45 points to only three against her.

She with a 12-1 win over Atika EL ASLA (MAR) 12-1 and secured a fall over fellow Olympian Siwar BOUSETA (TUN). The first period was a slow-paced battle but Adekuoroye shifted and scored 11 points before securing the pin. In the semifinals, Parfaite MAMBOU (CGO) had no answer to Adekuoroye's attacks.

Bouseta and Adekuoroye again met in the final and the Tunisian managed to score two points. However, that was all she was getting as the Nigerian moved to a 12-2 win and claim the gold.

Nigeria won two more gold medals as Mercy ADEKUOROYE (NGR) won the 53kg title while Jumoke ADEKOYE (NGR) finished at the top in the 55kg weight class.

The four gold medals kept Nigeria in the team title race but it fell agonizingly short of winning it. Tunisia finished first in the race with 179 points while Nigeria had 170 points. Egypt finished third with 110 points.

Tunisia claimed only two gold medals but won four silver and had 10 or more points in the remaining weights to finish above Nigeria, which was hurt by their pointless finish in 50kg and 57kg.

At 50kg, Tokyo Olympian Sara HAMDI (TUN) defeated Nada MOHAMED (EGY) 2-1 in the final. The two had met in the opening round as well with Hamdi prevailing 9-6 in that bout. Hamdi's two points in the first period helped her claim the gold.

Samar HAMZA (EGY)Samar HAMZA (EGY) won the 76kg gold medal. (Photo: UWW / Bayrem Ben Mrad)

Egypt's long gold medal came at 76kg as World bronze medalist and defending champion Samar HAMZA (EGY) defeated Hannah RUEBEN (NGR) 5-1 in the final. This was Hamza's sixth African title. Hamza's run saw her outscore her opponents 37-3.

Cameroon claimed two gold medals as its two star wrestlers lived up to the billing and were crowned champions.

Joseph ESSOMBE TIAKO (CMR)Joseph ESSOMBE TIAKO (CMR) won her 10th African Championships medal. (Photo: UWW / Bayrem Ben Mrad)

At 57kg, Tokyo fifth-placer at 53kg Joseph ESSOMBE TIAKO (CMR) claimed her 10th African Championships medal and second straight gold after pinning Rayane HOUFAF (ALG) in the final. Her medal haul now stands at two gold, five silver and three bronze medals.

Berthe ETANE NGOLLE (CMR) won the gold medal at 65kg. After three silver medals at the African Championships, she finally broke the jinx by winning her two bouts in the Nordic bracket. In a crucial Round 2 bout, she managed to beat Khadija JLASSI (TUN), 13-7 to clear her path to gold. Her second win was 5-1 over Sunmisola BALOGUN (NGR).

Senegal also claimed a gold medal, the first in six years, Anta SAMBOU (SEN) won two out of three bouts at 72kg. Defending champion Zaineb SGHAIER (TUN) also won two out of three bouts including a fall over Sambou. But with the Senegal wrestler had scored 20 technical points over Sghaier's 14.

WW Results

GOLD: Sarra HAMDI (TUN) df. Nada MOHAMED (EGY), 2-1

BRONZE: Ibtissem DOUDOU (ALG) df. Rebecca MUAMBO (CMR), 6-5


BRONZE: Shaimaa MOHAMED (EGY) df. Lobna ICHAOUI (TUN), 12-2


Key match: Jumoke ADEKOYE (NGR) df. Faten HAMMAMI (TUN), 13-2 (Round 2)

GOLD: Joseph TIAKO (CMR) df. Rayane HOUFAF (ALG), via fall

BRONZE: Nisrine HAMMAS (MAR), via forfeit

GOLD: Odunayo ADEKUOROYE (NGR) df. Siwar BOUSETA (TUN), 12-2

BRONZE: Fatoumata CAMARA (GUI) df. Parfaite MAMBOU (CGO), 10-0

GOLD:  Marwa AMRI (TUN) df. Patience OPUENE (NGR), 10-0 

BRONZE: Mastoura SOUDANI (ALG) df. Safietou GOUDIABY (SEN), via fall (10-4)


Key match: Berthe ETANE NGOLLE (CMR) df. Khadija JLASSI (TUN), 13-7 (Round 2)

GOLD: Blessing OBORUDUDU (NGR) df. Menatalla BADRAN (EGY), via fall (4-0)

BRONZE: Ranim SAIDI (TUN) df. Rosie TABORA (COD), 5-3

GOLD: Anta SAMBOU (SEN) (2 wins, 2 via fall)
SILVER: Zaineb SGHAIER (TUN) (2 wins, 2 via fall)
BRONZE: Ebi BIOGOS (NGR) (2 wins, 1 via fall)

GOLD: Samar HAMZA (EGY) df. Hannah RUEBEN (NGR), 5-1



Egypt rides on four golds to win African Championships title

By Vinay Siwach

EL JADIDA, Morocco (May 22) -- For a second straight day, Egypt and Algeria were involved in a thrilling team title race at the African Championships.

Egypt, after winning the Greco-Roman team title Saturday by one point, pipped Algeria for the freestyle team title as the continental championships came to a close in El Jadida.

Egypt finished with 195 points to finish at the top while Algeria had 178 points. South Africa finished with 93 points to claim the third position.

The two nations were tied for gold medals at four apiece but wrestlers from Egypt reached the medal bout in all 10 weight classes while Algeria finished the opportunity at 57kg and had no entry in 125kg which hurt them the most.

Mostafa ELDERS (EGY)Mostafa ELDERS (EGY) won the 97kg gold medal. (Photo: UWW / Bayrem Ben Mrad)

In a crucial gold medal bout, Mostafa ELDERS (EGY) defeated U20 world bronze medalist Nicolaas DE LANGE (RSA) 7-0 at 97kg despite starting as the underdog.

De Lange was expected to win his first gold at African Championships but Elders had different ideas. He began with a quick takedown and roll to lead 4-0. De Lange went for Elders' leg on multiple occasions but could not finish a single move. The Egypt wrestler led 5-0 at the break.

Elders shifted to defense in the second period and De Lange found it extremely difficult to score. He was for fleeing during a stepout which gave a tiring Elders two more points. He managed to play out the remaining time on the clock to seal the team title for Egypt.

In another high-stake final, Tokyo Olympian Amr Reda RAMADAN (EGY) clinched his second African title by winning the gold medal at 74kg. In a bout he was expected to win comfortably, Ramadan trailed junior African champion Adelkader IKKAL (ALG) 5-1 after two minutes. 

Ikkal tried to shoot for Ramadan's legs numerous times in the second period but ended up giving up points which proved to be his undoing. Ramadan scored eight straight points on counters to win 9-5.

At 125kg, Youssif HEMIDA (EGY) made a mockery of his competition in the nordic bracket. With only three wrestlers entered, Hemida scored 11-0 wins over Anas LAMKABBER (MAR) and Hamza RAHMANI (TUN) to clinch the gold medal.

The former U23 World silver medalist, who trains in the USA, showed the gulf in the class in wrestling as Lamkabber and Rahmani looked out of sorts on the mat.

The fourth gold for Egypt came at 57kg as Gamal MOHAMED (EGY) held off Ebikewenimo WELSON (NGR), 5-0 in the final. In a controlled bout, Mohamed got the first point for Welson's passivity to lead 1-0 at the break.

He scored a takedown in the second period and wait for the clock to expire while fending off Welson's attacks. He got another takedown at the end off a desperate attack by Welson.

For Algeria, Tokyo Olympian Fateh BENFERDJALLAH (ALG) won his first senior African gold medal with a 6-2 win over Mahmoud BADAWI (EGY). He scored all of his six points in the first period while giving up two in the second.

The 21-year-old continues to improve at the senior level after qualifying Algeria for the Tokyo Olympics last year. The top seed in El Jadida began the tournament with an 11-0 win before pinning Edward LESSING (RSA) in the semifinal.

Mohammed FARDJ (ALG)Mohammed FARDJ (ALG) defended his 92kg gold at the African Championships. (Photo: UWW / Bayrem Ben Mrad)

Another Olympian who won the gold for Algeria was Mohammed FARDJ (ALG). Unlike Benferdjallah, Fardj displayed a dominating performance in the 92kg final against Imed KADDIDI (TUN). He won 11-0 to defend his title.

He outscored his opponents 34-0 over three bouts in what was a stunning performance throughout the day.

The fourth gold medal for Algeria was won by Chems FETAIRIA (ALG) who defeated Youssef AIT BOULAHRI (MAR), 13-3 in the 79kg final to win his first African title.

A trip and gut wrench gave Fetairia four points but Boulahri also got two for holding Fetairia in danger in the same sequence as the score read 4-3. But Fetairia launched a suplex in the first period for four before a match ending four-pointer in the second period.

79kg was also the weight where Mauritius won their first freestyle medal in 20 years. Jean STE MARIE (MRI), who lost to Boulahri 14-12 in the semifinal, defeated Donald MABUSELA (RSA), 12-2 in the bronze medal bout to end his country's 22-year wait for a freestyle medal.

The remaining two gold medals were captured by Guinea-Bissau as Mbunde CUMBA MBALI (GBS) claimed the 65kg title while Bacar NDUM (GBS) won the gold at 70kg by defeated Algerian opponents.

In the 65kg final, defending champion Cumba Mbali scored three points in the first period against Chouaib SAHRAOUI (ALG) and went into a shell. He was warned for passivity but that only cost him one point. He hung on for a 3-1 win and his third straight African Championships title.

Ndum was more dominant as he defeated Rami BRINIS (ALG), 9-0 in the 70kg final to become a first-time African champion.

Ndum's run in El Jadida included two technical superiority wins in the quarterfinal and semifinal before he maintained the clean slate in the final as well.

Another star from the country, Tokyo Olympian Diamantino IUNA FAFE (GBS) suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Welson in the 57kg semifinal. But he bounced back to claim the bronze medal with a 10-0 win over Rabby KILANDI (COD).

Freestyle Results

GOLD: Gamal MOHAMED (EGY) df. Ebikewenimo WELSON (NGR), 5-0 

BRONZE: Omar FAYE (SEN) df. Jakobo TAU (RSA), 18-11
BRONZE: Diamantino IUNA FAFE (GBS) df. Rabby KILANDI (COD), 10-0

GOLD: Abdelhak KHERBACHE (ALG) df. Shehabeldin MOHAMED (EGY), 3-0 

BRONZE: Sofiane EL KHAMER (MAR) df. Jordan Ngalula KABONGO (COD), 10-0
BRONZE: Awene DIATTA (SEN) df. Kenneth KOECH (KEN), 10-0 

GOLD: Mbunde CUMBA MBALI (GBS) df. Chouaib SAHRAOUI (ALG), 3-1

BRONZE: Yehia HAFEZ (EGY) df. Jason AFRIKANER (NAM), 4-3

GOLD: Bacar NDUM (GBS) df. Rami BRINIS (ALG), 9-0

BRONZE: Mohamed ZORGUI (TUN) df. Anthony WESLEY (CPV), 11-0
BRONZE: Said ELGAHSH (EGY) df. Guy LAGO (CIV), 2-1

GOLD: Amr HUSSEN (EGY) df. Abdelkader IKKAL (ALG), 9-5

BRONZE: Arno VAN ZIJL (RSA) df. Mamadou DIOUF (SEN), 2-0
BRONZE: Ogbonna JOHN (NGR) df. Brian OLOO (KEN), 10-0 

GOLD: Chems FETAIRIA (ALG) df. Youssef AIT BOULAHRI (MAR), 13-3

BRONZE: Jean STE MARIE (MRI) df. Donald MABUSELA (RSA), 12-2
BRONZE: Andy MUKENDI (COD) df. Karim ELDOBAY (EGY), 12-6


BRONZE: Ekerekeme AGIOMOR (NGR) df. Sabri MNASRIA (TUN), 9-0
BRONZE: Edward LESSING (RSA) df. Barthelemy TSHOSHA (COD), 8-1

GOLD: Mohammed FARDJ (ALG) df. Imed KADDIDI (TUN), 11-0

BRONZE: Machiel GROBLER (RSA) df. Timothee TOE (BUR), via forfeit
BRONZE: Noureldin HASSAN (EGY) df. Ahmed SEREHALI (MAR) , 10-0

GOLD: Mostafa ELDERS (EGY) df. Nicolaas DE LANGE (RSA) , 7-0

BRONZE: Ulrich MANOUAN (CIV) df. John FOLANE (BUR), via forfeit
BRONZE: Mohamed SAADAOUI (TUN) df. Abderrahmane BENACHA (ALG), 10-0


Key match: Youssif HEMIDA (EGY) df. Anas LAMKABBER (MAR), 11-0 (Round 2)