Tunisian Juniors and Cadets Win 15 Golds at African Championships

By United World Wrestling Press

MARRAKECH, Morocco (April 28) – Tunisia led the way in both the junior and cadet competitions at the African Wrestling Championships, capturing 15 gold medals over the first three days of competition in Marrakech, Morocco.

The Tunisians claimed eight junior gold medals on Friday, including four of the six golds in the women’s wrestling competition. Junior women’s wrestling champions for Tunisia included Sarra HAMDI (48kg), Lilia MEJRI (63kg), Rihem AYARI (67kg) and Nour JELJELI (72kg). Three Tunisians won gold in the junior Greco-Roman competition: Souleymen NASR (66kg), Amine GUENNICHI (96kg) and Mohamed BLAGHJI (120kg). Ayoub BARRAJ (74kg) was the lone wrestler from Tunisia to win gold in junior freestyle.

Tunisia’s gold medalists at the cadet level included Salim HAMDI (46kg, Greco-Roman), Montassar NASRAOUI (58kg, Greco-Roman), Mohamed BLAGHJI (100kg, Greco-Roman), Lobna ICHAOUI (46kg, women’s wrestling), Zaineb SGHAIER (56kg, women’s wrestling) and Mohamed BEN JAAFAR (69kg, freestyle).

Algeria had a strong showing in the junior and cadet competitions, winning a combined 11 golds, five at the junior level and six at the cadet level. Like Tunisia, Algeria won at least one gold medal in each of the six competitions contested over the first three days. Algerians Noureddine ESSAIDI (50kg), Salah KATEB (55kg) and Mohammed FARDJ (96kg) won golds in the junior freestyle competition. Yasser METIDJI (55kg) won gold in junior Greco-Roman, while Chaimaa AOUISSI (59kg) came out victorious in the junior women’s wrestling competition.

Algeria’s champions at the cadet level included Ahmed MERIKHI (50kg, Greco-Roman), Abdelmalek MERABET (54kg, Greco-Roman), Amet SADOU (63kg, Greco-Roman), Souhila LARBI (38kg, women’s wrestling), Saber MECHERI (46kg, freestyle) and Mohamed LAKEL (50kg, freestyle). 

After winning two golds in the cadet competitions, Egypt grabbed six golds in the junior competitions on Friday. Egypt wrestlers Hassan MOHAMED (60kg), Mohamed ELSAYED (74kg) and Ahmed AHMED (84kg) won golds in junior Greco-Roman. Ahmed MOHAMED (60kg) and Amr HUSSEN (66kg) finished on top in junior freestyle. Nada MOHAMED (44kg) won gold in junior women’s wrestling. Egypt had a pair of cadet champions, Nada MOHAMED (43kg, women’s wrestling) and Ahmed KHALIL (100kg, freestyle).

South Africa performed exceptionally well in the the cadet freestyle competition, winning five of the 10 gold medals. Those champions were Fernando BOOYSEN (42kg), Frederik NORTJE (58kg), Francois ROSSOUW (63kg), Ruan BOTHA (76kg) and Johannes Jacobus KRIEL (85kg). South Africa added another gold medal on Friday as Fredylan MARAIS (84kg) won in junior freestyle. 

Ulrich MANOUAN (85kg) gave Cote d’Ivoire a gold medal in the Cadet Greco-Roman competition. 

The seniors will compete on Saturday and Sunday at the African Wrestling Championships. Women’s wrestling and Greco-Roman will be contested on Saturday. Freestyle is set for Sunday. 

Junior Greco-Roman Champions:

55kg: Yasser METIDJI (ALG)
60kg: Hassan MOHAMED (EGY)
66kg: Souleymen NASR (TUN)
74kg: Mohamed ELSAYED (EGY)
84kg: Ahmed AHMED (EGY)
96kg: Amine GUENNICHI (TUN)
120kg: Mohamed BLAGHJI (TUN)

Junior Women’s Wrestling Champions:

44kg: Nada MOHAMED (EGY)
48kg: Sarra HAMDI (TUN)
59kg: Chaimaa AOUISSI (ALG)
63kg: Lilia MEJRI (TUN)
67kg: Rihem AYARI (TUN)
72kg: Nour JELJELI (TUN)

Junior Freestyle Champions:

50kg: Noureddine ESSAIDI (ALG)
55kg: Salah KATEB (ALG)
60kg: Ahmed MOHAMED (EGY)
66kg: Amr HUSSEN (EGY)
74kg: Ayoub BARRAJ (TUN)
84kg: Fredylan MARAIS (RSA)
96kg: Mohammed FARDJ (ALG)

Cadet Greco-Roman Champions:

46kg: Salim HAMDI (TUN)
50kg: Ahmed MERIKHI (ALG)
54kg: Abdelmalek MERABET (ALG)
58kg: Montassar NASRAOUI (TUN)
63kg: Amet Sadou (ALG)
69kg: Abdelali EL FALLAKI (MAR)
85kg: Ulrich MANOUAN (CIV)
100kg: Mohamed BLAGHJI (TUN)

Cadet Women’s Wrestling Champions:

38kg: Souhila Larbi (ALG)
43kg: Nada MOHAMED (EGY)
46kg: Lobna Ichaoui (TUN)
56kg: Zaineb Sghaier (TUN)

Cadet Freestyle Champions:

42kg: Fernando BOOYSEN (RSA)
46kg: Saber MECHERI (ALG)
50kg: Mohamed LAKEL (ALG)
54kg: Firas KHALIFA (TUN)
58kg: Frederik NORTJE (RSA)
63kg: Francois ROSSOUW (RSA)
69kg: Mohamed BEN JAAFAR (TUN)
76kg: Ruan BOTHA (RSA)
85kg: Johannes KRIEL (RSA)
100kg: Ahmed KHALIL (EGY)