African Wrestling Championship : Nigeria wins women team title, Algeria triumphs in Men

By   - 10/02/2020

Algeria medaled in nine weight classes — three of which were golds — and claimed the freestyle team title on home soil. Abdelhak Kherbache, Abdelghani BENATALLAH and Mohammed FARDJ of Algeria won gold medals and helped the host nation edge second-place Egypt by three points and third-place Tunisia by 33 points. 

In the women’s wrestling competition Nigeria won the team title with their ten finalists and six champions. Nigeria finished with 230 points, which was 64 points ahead of second-place Tunisia (166 points), and 66 points ahead of third-place Egypt (164 points).

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Mbunde CUMBA MBALI (GBS), Abdelhak KHERBACHE (ALG) and Ogbonna JOHN (NGR) ascended to the top-ten of the freestyle world rankings after they closed out the African Championships with Olympic-weight gold medals.

Cumba Mbali halted Adama DIATTA’S (SEN) quest to win his 10th African championship title, then went on to defeat Amas DANIEL (NGR) to defend his 2019 African crown. He jumped from 29th to 9th in the rankings with his 18-point gold-medal victory in Alger.

Cumba Mbali downed Diatta 3-2, in the semifinals, then avenged his All-African Games finals loss to Amas DANIEL (NGR) with the two-point victory in the gold-medal match. He scored the 4-2 come-from-behind win over Daniel after trailing 2-0 for the majority of the first period. A late takedown in the first period, and then again in the second period awarded Cumba Mbali his second African title in as many tries.

Abdelhak Kherbache blanked Diamantino IUNA FAFE (GBS), 7-0, in the 57kg finals and moved into the top-ten of the world rankings. Kherbache, the defending African champion, moved up eight spots from his previous No. 16 ranking that he earned from finishing in 11th at the 2019 World Championships. He now sits two points ahead of Givi DAVIDOVI (ITA) in the No. 8 spot.

Ogbonna John handled Ishak BOUKHORS (ALG), 5-1, in the 74kg finals and climbed to seventh in the world rankings. John’s gold on Sunday was worth 20 points, which sandwiched him between No. 6 Mao OKUI (JPN) and former-No.7 Kamil RYBICKI (POL). The Nigerian now has four African championship gold medals and one African Games title. Earlier on Saturday night Odunayo ADEKUOROYE and Blessing OBORUDUDU  improved on their top-three world rankings, as Nigerian women nabbed six African gold medals on to win the team title.

Final Freestyle Team Standings

GOLD – Algeria (183 points)
SILVER – Egypt (180 points)
BRONZE – Tunisia (150 points)
Fourth – Nigeria (83 points)
Fifth –  South Africa (82 points)

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