Algeria, Egypt, South Africa dominate African Fencing Championships

Ramadan Ibrahim of Egypt (left) takes on Nigeria’s Olagunju Zaafir in one of the duels of the Cadet and Junior African Fencing Championship, which started in Lagos…yesterday. PHOTO: NAJEEM RAHEEM.

The Eighth Cadet and Junior African Fencing Championship got underway yesterday at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Indoor Sports Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos with powerhouses, Algeria and Egypt maintaining their high ratings at the five-day tournament.

The North Africans are bound to have a good fight from South Africa, who also enjoyed a wave of victories on the opening day of the tournament.

Nigerian fencers were also in action, but they were short of experience compared to their counterparts. Charles Joshua could not go beyond the final qualification stage, losing 15-4 to Ronan Ragavoodoo of Mauritius in the Individual Epee, while it was the same fate for Zaafir Olagunju who fell 15-10 to Ibrahim Ramadan, the third seed from Egypt.

Femi Adeniti also bowed to second-seeded Egyptian, Mohamed El-Sayed 15-2, just as George Noval defeated his fellow South African Dorian Moretti to advance to the final phase of the Epee.

Female fencers will take to the stage today with Semina Daminabo of Nigeria listed for action in the Individual Epee. Algeria and South Africa will each have four representatives while Cote d’Ivoire has three.

Nigeria Fencing Federation President, Adeyinka Samuel expressed confidence that Nigeria will put up a good fight and win a few medals despite the country’s slow start.

The championship serves as an avenue for junior fencers to earn points for the 2018 World Championships in Verona, Italy and will also be used as qualification criteria for the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo, Japan.

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