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African Judo Championships help qualifying for Rio2016
8 Apr 2016 03:45
Athletes from 31 nations will fight for the essential Qualification Points to participate at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. The African Championships in Tunis are more important than ever and in the 14 weight classes each point can help the athletes to Rio. Last year at the African Championships the current host Tunisia was amazingly strong picking 50% of all 16 available medals including Open category. Eight titles for the current host nation rises the expectations. Tunisia and Algeria ended equal in the men’s division but in the women Tunisia won with 5 gold medals.
Last year’s winners from Tunisia: Hela Ayari (U52kg), Nesria Jlassi (U57kg), Houda Miled (U70kg) and Nihel Cheikh Rouhou (+78 and Open) are again the best seeded athletes based up their position in the IJF World Ranking. They will defend their titles but the competition is strong.
U48kg Taciana Lima (GBS) wants to keep her title, two weeks ago in Tbilisi she won silver at the Grand Prix so her form is tested successfully. Hela Ayari (TUN) and Christianne Legentil (MRI) are separated in the draw and favourite for the U52kg title. Nesria Jlassi (TUN) and Ratiba Tariket (ALG) are the targeted athletes U57kg for the gold medal. Jlassi won the title five times since 2008.
Moroccan judoka Rizlen Zouak regained her title U63kg last year and wants to add a fourth gold medal. Her rival will be Imene Agouar, while also Helene Wezeu Dombeu (CMR) and Szandra Szögedi (GHA) are nominated for Rio via the continental quota, but extra points will help to confirm.
Home player Houda Miled and Moroccan Assmaa Niang are the favourites for women U70kg, especially Miled would love to add some more secure points to her performance list. Internationally skilled is also Antonia Moreira of Angola who may snatch the title.
Sarah Myriam Mazouz (GAB) won valuable points in her Pan American Tour last year and this year and is safe for Rio. Her rival for gold is Kaouther Ouallal (ALG) who won bronze at the African Open in Casablanca this year.
In the competitive heavyweight category Nihel Cheikh Rouhou (TUN) and Sonia Asselah (ALG) are the favourites. Cheikh Rouhou won 16 continental titles (including open category) since 2007 and she won the African Open here in Tunis this year and is ranked 8th in the IJF Ranking.
Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia dominate the men’s categories in the World Ranking. Yassine Moudatir (MAR) defends his lightweight title, Tunisian Fraj Dhouibi is expected as opponent among 21 men. Algeria’s Houd Zourdani is the men U66kg who won the title in 2015 in Libreville. Houcem Khalfaoui (TUN) is eager to ‘steal’ valuable points at home.
Egyptian Mohamed Mohyeldin developed extremely well with convincing bronze at the European Open in Oberwart (AUT) and the ‘double’ last year at African Championships and Games. He is favoured the win the title U73kg. Casablanca’s African Open winner Emmanuel Nartey (GHA) is in shape as well. Another Egyptian favourite is Mohamed Abdelaal U81kg. He may face Abdelaziz Ben Ammar (TUN) in the final.
Algerian Abderrahmane Benamadi is the best ranked athlete U90kg where South African Zack Piontek booked recently success with bronze in Lima, but Benamadi took gold at the African Open in Casablanca.
Egyptian Ramadan Darwish is ranked ninth in the IJF World Ranking, but it’s Lyes Bouyacoub who defeated Darwish last year. An exciting high level category between the two guaranteed top athletes with potential for Rio. Same story in +100kg where Faicel Jaballah (TUN) and Islam El Shehaby (EGY) know each other so well. El Shehaby is aiming for a tenth title, which is motivating. Jaballah is the title defender in the attractive category.
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Houd Zourdani (ALG)
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