21 Aug 2019

Led by Ibrahima Diaw with Hamdou Sow and Mohamed Gueyu in support, Senegal alongside the Tunisian trio comprising Thameur Mamia, Adem Hamam and Keren Ben Yahia, emerged the outfits to attract attention on the first day of play, Wednesday 21st August, at the 2019 African Games in Rabat.

Contrary to status, both ended the day in first places in their respective men’s team groups.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

The Senegal outfit caused the biggest upset, they recorded a 3-2 win against the no.4 seeds, Algeria’s Mohamed Boudjadja, Sami Kherouf and Larbi Bouriah, before rather more comfortably posting a 3-0 success in opposition to Ethiopia’s Darara Dufera, Eyob Abeye and Tesfaye Aden.

Defeat for Algeria but consolation; a 3-0 win had been recorded earlier in the day against Ethiopia for whom Melese Habteyes was preferred to Eyob Abeye. Thus the end result was second place in the group and progress to the main draw; in the men’s team and women’s team events, outfits finishing in first and second positions in each group advance to the knock-out stage.

Impressive from Senegal, it was the same from Thameur Mamia, Adem Hamam and Keren Ben Yahia; they recorded a 3-0 win in opposition to the no.6 seeds, South Africa’s Cade Peters, Byrone Abrahams and Kurt Lingevelt, prior to securing a 3-1 success when facing Morocco’s Mohammed Krichel, Salim Karam and Mounain Tirselt. Alas for South Africa there was no place in the main draw. In their opening fixture of the day they had experienced a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Morocco, a contest in which Chetan Nathoo had been preferred to Byrone Abrahams.

Otherwise it was a first place in the group for the seeded teams. Nigeria, the top seeds, who selected Segun Toriola, Olajide Omotayo and Bode Abiodun secured first place in their group as did the next in line, Egypt’s Ahmed Ali Saleh, Khalid Assar, Omar Assar and Mohamed El-Beali. Likewise, it was top spot for the no.3 seeds, Congo Brazzaville’s Saheed Idowu, Michel Lignandzi and Christ Bientiaki, as it was for the no.5 seeds, Togo’s Kokou Dodji Fanny, Desire Akakpo and Mawussi Agbetoglo.

Surprise outcomes in the first stage of the men’s team event; in the counterpart women’s competition, four groups in the initial stage, the top four all ended the day in first position.

It was first place for the top seeded Egyptian squad comprising Dina Meshref, Yousra Helmy, Farah Abdel-Aziz, Reem El-Eraky and Mariam Alhodaby; a situation that applied to their main rivals, the no.2 seeds, the Nigerian outfit formed by Olufunke Oshonaike, Fatima Bello, Cecilia Akpan, Offong Edem and Nuratu Ojumo. Similarly, the no.3 seeds, Algeria’s Hiba Feredj, Katia Kessaci and Lynda Loghraibi secured first position as did the no.4 seeds, Tunisia who selected from Abir Haj Salah, Safa Saidani, Fadwa Garci and Manel Bakouti.

The team events continue on Thursday 22nd August; at the close of play in both the men’s and women’s events, the finalists will be known.

2019 African Games Tunisia Senegal

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Day 9 - 2019 African Games