Accra 2023: Egypt dominates in combat sports. AFRICAN GAMES 2023

Egypt's dominance at the 2023 African Games was also reflected in some of the combat sports, in an important part of its record breaking 100 gold medals in the whole biggest continental sporting event.

The Mediterranean country's men's arm wrestling team was by far the best team at the African Games. Egypt's athletes won 13 gold medals out of 16 in the men's competition. Mohamed Hassanin was the most successful athlete, winning 3 medals, two gold (left arm 85 kg and right arm +100 kg) and one silver (right arm 85 kg). 

In the men's +90 kg category there was an Egyptian participant and Ghana's Edward Asamoah won two gold medals with his left and right arms. Ghana's Godwin Sackey won the men's -75kg with his left arm, but Egypt's Andria Jeha took revenge with his right. 

Said Omar (55kg), Mohamed Sherif (60kg), Ali Mohamed (65kg) and Mohamed Abdelrahman (100kg) won two gold medals. Mostafa Salaheldin finished first in the +100 kg with left arm category and second in the +85 kg with left arm category.

However, Egypt only won one gold medal in the women's competition, which was dominated by Ghana and Nigeria with 5 and 4 gold medals respectively. Fatma Hussein Kamel Rezk won the gold medal for Egypt in the +80 kg category. Ghana's Mabel Yeboah was first in the women's -55kg right arm and third in the left arm, where the gold went to Nigeria's Elizabeth Mausi.

Egypt's Mohamed Hassanin (left) won two gold and one silver medal. GETTY IMAGES
Egypt's Mohamed Hassanin (left) won two gold and one silver medal. GETTY IMAGES

Blessed Abeka and Grace Minta (Ghana) won two gold medals in the 60kg and 80kg categories respectively. Sarah Ovayoza of Nigeria (70 kg) and Sourou Lalaeye (65 kg) won the left and right arm events. Gloria Olubisi was the best in the right arm +80 kg category.

Egypt also dominated in Greco-Roman wrestling with four gold medals out of six. Mohamed Moamen (60 kg), Ibrahim Elsayed (67 kg), Mohamed Gabr (97 kg) and Mohamed Abdellatif (130 kg) were crowned African Games champions on 10 March. 

2023 World bronze medallist Abdellatif won the 2024 African Championships in Alexandria, where Egypt won nine of the ten titles. Two more gold medals at the African Games went to Algerian wrestlers Elkrimouakali Ouakli (77kg) and Bachir Sid Azara (87kg).

Nigeria's women won all six gold medals in the women's wrestling competition. Genesis Mercy (50kg), Christianah Ogunsanya (53kg), Adekuoroye Odunayo (57kg), Esther Kolawole (62kg), Tokyo 2020 runner-up Blessing Oborududu (68kg) and Hannah Amuchechi (76kg) didn't give their opponents a chance. 

Nigeria's Blessing Oborududu (in green) won a gold medal at Accra 2023. GETTY IMAGES
Nigeria's Blessing Oborududu (in green) won a gold medal at Accra 2023. GETTY IMAGES

A week later in Alexandria, all these wrestlers were crowned African champions except Amuchechi. She took silver after losing her final match to Algeria's Hannah Amuchechi Sghaier. 

Egypt's dominance was even greater in the men's freestyle, winning all six golds with Mohamed Gamal (57kg), Omar Mahmoud (65kg), Amr Hussen (74kg), Ahmed Mahmoud (86kg), Mostafa Elsayed Gabr (97kg) and Youssif Badea Hemida (125kg). Hemida would go on to become African champion a week later, while the other gold medallists are already focused on preparing the Olympic qualifiers.

In judo, Tunisia won the team competition with 6 gold medals. Oumaima Bedioui (-48kg) and Rahma Tibi (-52kg) won the women's gold medals, while Koussay Ben (-100kg), Aladdin Ben Chalbi (-73kg) and Abdelaziz Ben Ammar (-90kg) were the men's champions. Tunisia also won gold in the mixed team competition. 

Algeria's Mohamed Lili was the best in the men's +100 kg, while Amina Belkadi won gold in the women's -63 kg. Senegal, Egypt, South Africa, Madagascar, Zambia and Guinea won one gold medal each. Another African title went to Leonardo Barros (men -60kg) representing the African Judo Union.

Egypt's men's team won the Karate Kata team event. AFRICAN GAMES 2023
Egypt's men's team won the Karate Kata team event. AFRICAN GAMES 2023

The Karate tournament (Kumite and Kata) was also dominated by Egypt. They won 10 gold medals, 4 of them in team events. Algeria won three gold medals, Morocco two and Tunisia one.

Egypt won three more gold medals in the Taekwondo Poomsae competition. Ahmed Hassan Mokhtar and Ganatalla Hamed Aly Elkotb were the best in the men's and women's individual freestyle poomsae events. Tunisia won the Women's Under 30 Recognised Team Poomsae competition, and Imen Akermi and Yassmin Zekri also won gold in the Women's Under 30 and Under 40 Poomsae.

Adama Ndiaye of Senegal was the best in the men's under 30 poomsae category, while Seldom Kim of Mauritius won the gold medal in the men's under 40 poomsae. 

Morocco won the gold medal in the team kyorugi competition. They beat Egypt 48-37 in the final. Nigeria, with Elizabeth Anyanacho in the team, won the bronze medals, while Tunisia, who have won the most gold medals in individual competition, didn't compete in the mixed team event.