LIVE BLOG: African and Oceania Olympic Qualifier, Day Three

By United World Wrestling Press

HAMMAMET, Tunisia (April 4) -- Six countries claimed the 12 Olympic berths that were available on Sunday.

2000 hrs: Diaaeldin Kamal Gouda ABDELMOTTALEB (EGY) and Djahid BERRAHAL (ALG) qualify Egypt and Algeria for the Tokyo Games at 125kg 

1940 hrs: Down goes Rio Olympian Soso TAMARAU (NGR). Former African champion at 97kg, Mohammed FARDJ (ALG) gets a 6-2 win over the Nigerian and qualifies Algeria for Tokyo Olympics

1927 hrs: Another Olympic quota for Tunisia! Mohamed SAADAOUI (TUN) beats Hosam Mohamed Mostafa MERGHANY (EGY) 6-1 to win the ticket for his country 

1915 hrs: Fateh BENFERDJALLAH (ALG) and Ekerekeme AGIOMOR (NGR) earn the Tokyo berths for their respective countries. The Algerian defeated Khaled Masoud Ismail ELMOATAMADAWI (EGY) 3-1 while the Nigerian won 12-2 against Jayden Alexander LAWRENCE (AUS)

1856 hrs: Three-time Olympian Augusto MIDANA (GBS) defeats African champion Ishak BOUKHORS (ALG) 4-1 to win the ticket to Tokyo. 

1845 hrs: American Samoa have to wait for their third freestyle wrestler at Olympics. Amr Reda Ramadan HUSSEN (EGY) shatters the dreams of Elias Lauofo VAOIFI (ASA) with a 10-0 win at 74kg semifinal 

1842 hrs: Local boy Haithem DAKHLAOUI (TUN) steps up in style. He qualifies Tunisia for Tokyo by beating Fathi Tarek Fathi Attia ISMAIL (EGY) 6-3

1830 hrs: Adama DIATTA (SEN) qualifies Senegal for the Tokyo Olympics. What a stunning performance from the Rio Olympian as he beats Aime Mbolalalaina Joel RAKOTONIAINA (MAD) 10-0 in the 65kg semifinal 

1825 hrs: Three takedowns and a point for stepout. It's 10-0 win for Diamantino IUNA FAFE (GBS) as he qualifies his country for the Games.

1820 hrs: Diamantino IUNA FAFE (GBS) with a point for activity and a takedown to lead Chakir ANSARI (MAR) 3-0 at the break in the second semifinal at 57kg. 

1813 hrs: Algeria with the first Olympic berth of the night! Abdelhak KHERBACHE (ALG) mounts a strong comeback to beat Junjun ASEBIAS (FSM) 15-8 to qualify his nation for the Tokyo Games

1805 hrs: Asebias with a takedown and a gut to lead 6-1 against two-time African champion Kherbache. He gets another takedown but Kherbache with a four! Asebias 8-5 at the break

1800 hrs: We're back! Abdelhak KHERBACHE (ALG) is wrestling Junjun ASEBIAS (FSM) for a place in the 57kg final. The winner also earns a ticket to Tokyo 

1745 hrs: We are 15 minutes away from the second session in Hammamet. Mat B will see all the action of the qualifiers

1245 hrs: We have are semifinalists! 24 wrestlers are now locked in and will wrestle for the 12 Olympic spots on offer in Hammamet

At 74kg, Amr Reda Ramadan HUSSEN (EGY) vs Elias Lauofo VAOIFI (ASA) and Augusto MIDANA (GBS) vs Ishak BOUKHORS (ALG) are the two semifinals

At 97kg, Mohamed SAADAOUI (TUN) will wrestle Hosam Mohamed Mostafa MERGHANY (EGY) in the first semifinal while Soso TAMARAU (NGR) will be wrestling Mohammed FARDJ (ALG) in the second semifinal

Diaaeldin Kamal Gouda ABDELMOTTALEB (EGY) at 125kg sets up a semifinal against Johannes Jacobus KRIEL (RSA) while Djahid BERRAHAL (ALG) will take on Abdelmoneim ADOULI (TUN)

1230 hrs: Two more semifinals set. At 57kg,  Chakir ANSARI (MAD) will take on Diamantino IUNA FAFE (GBS) while in semifinal two, Abdelhak KHERBACHE (ALG) will be up against  Junjun ASEBIAS (FSM).

1215 hrs: Senegal's Rio Olympian Adama Diatta will be looking to qualify for the Games again as he makes his way to the semifinals at 65kg. He will take on Aime Mbolalalaina Joel RAKOTONIAINA (MAD) 

1200 hrs: We have our first set of semifinals for the night. The two winners will get a ticket to Tokyo Olympics. At 86kg, Jayden Alexander LAWRENCE (AUS) vs Ekerekeme AGIOMOR (NGR) and Khaled Masoud Ismail ELMOATAMADAWI (EGY) vs Fateh BENFERDJALLAH (ALG) will wrestle for the two spots in the final

1137 hrs: Senior Africa Championships bronze medalist at 125kg Johannes Jacobus KRIEL (RSA) if knocked out in a thriller. Djahid BERRAHAL (ALG), who was a silver medalist at the same tournament, 8-8 

1134 hrs: Did you see that? Ishak BOUKHORS (ALG), the silver medalist in Africa, with a 10-0 mauling of Guy Robert DE LUMEAU JR (PLW)

1130 hrs: Junior African champion Fathi Tarek Fathi Attia ISMAIL (EGY) holds off Amas DANIEL (NGR) 4-3 to advance in the 65kg qualifications

1128 hrs: What a show from local boy Haitem DAKHLAOUI (TUN). The African champion at 70kg starts his qualifying tournament at 65kg with a 14-3 tech victory over Mostafa REZAEIFAR (AUS). Six guts to finish it off

1110 hrs: Former African Youth Games champion Diamantino IUNA FAFE (GBS) gets going with a 6-1 win over Gamal Abdelnaser Hanafy MOHAMED (EGY). Good start for the youngster

1100 hrs: Hammamet is ready for the final day of wrestling at the African and Oceania Olympic qualifiers.


Four repeat as African champs; Egypt wins title

By Vinay Siwach

HAMMAMET, Tunisia (May 20) -- Egypt had an exceptional end to the African Championships, with all 10 of its freestyle wrestlers winning medals on the tournament's final day.

With five gold, three silver, and two bronze medals, Egypt accumulated 215 points, securing the team title. Hosts Tunisia finished second with 173 points, while Algeria took third place with 129 points.

This performance marked an improvement from last year when Egypt only won four gold medals and finished with a total of 195 points. Notably, two of the gold medalists from 2022 successfully defended their titles on Saturday.

Amr HUSSEN (EGY) triumphed at 74kg, securing his third African title and second consecutive win by defeating Bacar NDUM (GBS) with a fall in the final match.

Starting the day with an 11-0 victory over Oyeinkeperemo BRAVEMAN (NGR), Hussen continued his winning streak by defeating last year's silver medalist, Abdelkader IKKAL (ALG), with a convincing 10-0 victory in the semifinals. He then secured the gold medal with the fall over Ndum, who was the 70kg gold medalist last year.

The second wrestler to repeat as champion was Mostafa ELDERS (EGY) who secured a narrow 3-2 victory over Mohamed SAADAOUI (TUN) in the 97kg gold medal match.

Saadaoui, who won the bronze in 2022, received support from the home fans against Elders. After Saadaoui took a 1-0 lead due to Elders being called passive in the first period, Elders managed to regain the criteria lead of 1-1 when Saadaoui stepped out of the zone while evading an attack. However, Elders' lead was short-lived as he was called passive again, allowing Saadaoui to take a 2-1 lead with 50 seconds remaining.

Elders executed a double leg attack when Saadaoui was close to the zone, resulting in a pushout that put Elders back in the lead with a criteria score of 2-2. Saadaoui challenged the call for a headbutt, but the reviews confirmed it was clean, and Elders held on to secure a 3-2 victory.

Feeling disappointed by the close defeat, Saadaoui made an aggressive push on Elders after the bout, particularly since he had defeated Elders 9-5 in the morning session.

At 70kg, two bronze medalists from 2022, Said ELGAHSH (EGY) and Mohamed ZORGUI (TUN) faced off in the gold medal bout this year with the former emerging victorious with a score of 8-2.

Elgahsh began his day with an 8-4 win over Pieter ROETS (RSA) in the quarterfinals and followed it up with a 12-2 victory against Anthony WESLEY (CPV) in the semifinals.

Zorgui, on the other hand, began in the qualifications and secured a fall against Brian OLOO (KEN), followed by another fall in the quarterfinals against Rodgers MUKYEDA (UGA). He faced his first challenge in the semifinals but managed to narrowly defeat Sylvio DIATTA (SEN) with a score of 5-4.

Elgahsh gave little chance to Zorgui in the final and captured the gold with a resounding 8-2 win.

Ahmed MAHMOUD (EGY) won the gold medal at 79kg by stunning the defending champion Chems FETAIRIA (ALG) with a remarkable 11-0 win in the final.

Although Mahmoud easily overcame Fetaira, he was in deep trouble against Sofiane PADIOU BELMIR (MAR), eventually winning by a slim margin of 6-5.

At 125kg, two-time Olympian Diaaeldin ABDELMOTTALEB (EGY) defeated Hamza RAHMANI (TUN) twice on Saturday to win the gold medal, his fourth at the senior continental level. Abdelmottaleb posted a 10-0 win over Rahmani in the morning session and secured a fall in the gold medal bout at 125kg in the evening.

Tunisia, Algeria win two golds

The host nation, Tunisia, also had a reason to celebrate as it clinched two gold medals through Farouk JELASSI (TUN) and Imed KADDIDI (TUN).

Jelassi, who had never previously won a medal at the African Championships, surprised many by claiming gold in the 65kg category.

After achieving technical superiority in his first two bouts, Jelassi faced resistance from Frederik NORTJE (RSA), but it wasn't enough to prevent Jelassi from securing a 10-3 victory in the gold medal bout.

For Kaddidi, it was a significant breakthrough as he finally claimed the gold medal after two previous silver finishes, including one in 2022.

Competing in a Nelson bracket, Kaddidi wrestled four times and left no opportunity for his opponents to threaten him. He began with a fall over Dan CHEPTAI (KEN) in Round 1, followed by a dominant 10-0 win over Mahmoud IBRAHIM (EGY) in Round 2, a 9-1 victory over Machiel GROBLER (RSA) in Round 3, and an 11-0 thrashing of Wadii OUALAL (MAR) in Round 4.

Ibrahim emerged with the silver medal over Grobler after an astonishing 34-point bout. At the end of the six minutes, Ibrahim emerged victorious with a score of 22-12.

His two matches before the final also followed a similar script as Benferdjallah scored an 11-0 and a 13-3 win before entering the final against Elkoumy who won both his bouts via fall.

Benferdjallah did face resistance from Elkoumy but did not flinch under pressure and came out on top with an 8-4 scoreline.

Algeria also celebrated two gold medals as Abdelhak KHERBACHE (ALG) and Fateh BENFERDJALLAH (ALG) successfully defended their titles as African champions.

Kherbache made an impressive start in the 61kg category, securing a 14-3 victory over Yanisse MADI (COM) in the qualifications, followed by an 8-1 win against Shehabeldin MOHAMED (EGY) in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, Kherbache continued his dominance with a commanding 14-2 triumph over Seitonkumo RICHARD (NGR).

In the gold medal bout, Kherbache faced Firas KHALIFA (TUN), who had shown exceptional form by winning his previous two matches via falls. However, Kherbache proved unstoppable, defeating Khalifa with a 6-3 scoreline to secure his fourth consecutive African gold medal. Kherbache's achievement also includes three silver medals and a bronze from previous tournaments dating back to 2015.

Tokyo Olympian Benferdjallah added another African gold medal to his career with a controlled 8-4 victory over Saifeldin ELKOUMY (EGY) in the 86kg weight class.

Leading up to the final, Benferdjallah's path followed a similar pattern, as he secured convincing wins with scores of 11-0 and 13-3. Elkoumy, his opponent in the final, had moved into the final by winning both of his previous bouts via fall.

Although Elkoumy provided strong resistance, Benferdjallah remained composed under pressure and emerged victorious with a final score of 8-4. This victory marked Benferdjallah's second African gold medal.

At 57kg, Diamantino IUNA FAFE (GBS) won the gold medal after a thrilling final against defending champion Gamal MOHAMED (EGY) with a scoreline of 8-8.

Mohamed got the first advantage as Iuna Fafe was called passive in the first period and Mohamed got the 1-0 lead. But from that point on, he only chased Iuna Fafe. The lead switched hands when Iuna Fafe scored six minutes before the break to lead 6-1.

Iuna Fafe did give up penalty towards the end of the bout but he still led on criteria due to the big move in the first period and he held on for an 8-8 win.

This marked Iuna Fafe's first gold medal at the African Championships after the previous two occasions.



GOLD: Diamantino IUNA FAFE (GBS) df. Gamal MOHAMED (EGY), 8-8


GOLD: Abdelhak KHERBACHE (ALG) df. Firas KHALIFA (TUN), 6-3

BRONZE: Yassine JAA (MAR) df. Kenneth KOECH (KEN), via fall
BRONZE: Shehabeldin MOHAMED (EGY) df. Seitonkumo RICHARD (NGR), 5-0

GOLD: Farouk JELASSI (TUN) df. Frederik NORTJE (RSA), 10-3

BRONZE: Omar MOURAD (EGY) df. Reginaldo da SILVA (ANG), 12-2
BRONZE: Zohier IFTENE (ALG) df. Derrick AJONGASAP (CMR), 10-0

GOLD: Said ELGAHSH (EGY) df. Mohamed ZORGUI (TUN), 8-2

BRONZE: Sylvio DIATTA (SEN) df. Brian OLOO (KEN), 13-2
BRONZE: Pieter ROETS (RSA) df. Anthony WESLEY (CPV), via fall

GOLD: Amr HUSSEN (EGY) df. Bacar NDUM (GBS), via fall

BRONZE: Abdelkader IKKAL (ALG) df. Oyeinkeperemo BRAVEMAN (NGR), 11-1
BRONZE: Yassine FARAJ (MAR) df. Arno VAN ZIJL (RSA), via inj. def. 

GOLD: Ahmed MAHMOUD (EGY) df. Chems FETAIRIA (ALG), 11-0

BRONZE: Ebikeme NEWLIFE (NGR) df. Kaireddine BEN TELILI (TUN), 11-3
BRONZE: Francisco KADIMA (ANG) df. Sofiane PADIOU BELMIR (MAR), 11-2 

GOLD: Fateh BENFERDJALLAH (ALG) df. Saifeldin ELKOUMY (EGY), 8-4

BRONZE: Edward LESSING (RSA) df. Sabri MNASRIA (TUN), 10-0


GOLD: Mostafa ELDERS (EGY) df. Mohamed SAADAOUI (TUN), 3-2

BRONZE: Nicolaas DE LANGE (RSA) vs. Oussama ASSAD (MAR), 10-0

GOLD: Diaaeldin ABDELMOTTALEB (EGY) df. Hamza RAHMANI (TUN), via fall

BRONZE: Anas LAMKABBER (MAR) vs. Progress BENSON (NGR), 5-1