Thirty-six Olympic berths were secured by 10 different nations at the African and Oceania Olympic Qualifier in Hammamet, Tunisia. Wrestlers who finished in the top two in their respective weight categories qualified their nations for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Host nation Tunisia secured the most Olympic berths with 10 across the three styles. Algeria qualified eight weight categories, while Egypt qualified seven.
Tunisia tallied a quartet of Tokyo berths in Greco-Roman. They claimed the team title, finishing five points ahead of second-place Algeria, who also nabbed four Olympic berths.
The four wrestlers who earned Tunisian tickets to the Olympic Games were: Souleymen NASR (TUN), Lamjed MAAFI (TUN), Haikel ACHOURI (TUN) and Amine GUENNICHI (TUN). Nasr and Maafi won titles, while Achouri and Guennichi finished second.
Algeria had a solo champion and three runner-ups and also booked four tickets to Tokyo. Their four berths came at 60kg, 67kg, 87kg and 97kg. Adem BOUDJEMLINE (ALG) won gold at 97kg, while Abdelkarim Fergat (60kg), Abdelmalek MERABET (ALG) (67kg) and Bachir SID AZARA (ALG) (87kg) closed out the day with silver-medal finishes.
Egypt won three golds and finished third place in the team race. Haithem MAHMOUD (EGY), Mohamed METWALLY (EGY) and Abdellatif MOHAMED (EGY) were crowned champions at 60kg, 87kg and 130kg, respectively.
Rio Olympic bronze medalist Marwa AMRI (TUN) assisted her country in winning three gold medals and a silver and grabbed the team title.
Sarra HAMDI (TUN), Siwar BOUSETA (TUN) and Amri won golds at 50kg, 57kg and 62kg, while Zaineb SGHAIER (TUN) won silver at 76kg.
Other gold medal in women’s wrestling went to Samar HAMZA (EGY).
Six countries combined to secure the 12 Olympic berths in freestyle that were on the line on the final day of the African and Oceania Olympic Qualifier.
Algeria led the way by capturing four quotas while Egypt, Tunisia claimed two each. Egypt edged host nation Tunisia for the freestyle team title despite both countries having 105 points. The former had two gold medal finishes compared to the one of Tunisia.
Amr HUSSEN (EGY) led his country’s charge as he defeated three-time Olympian Augusto MIDANA (GBS), 10-0, in the 74kg final. Another gold medal for Egypt was earned by Rio Olympian and African champion at 125kg Diaaeldin Kamal Gouda ABDELMOTTALEB in the Nordic style bracket.
At 57kg, 19-year-old Diamantino IUNA FAFE (GBS) stole the show as he claimed the gold medal in stunning fashion by pinning two-time African champion Abdelhak KHERBACHE (ALG) in just 57 seconds.
Tunisia also had two finalists but managed to claim only one gold. Rio Olympian Mohamed SAADAOUI (TUN) won the 97kg gold after Mohammed FARDJ (ALG) pulled out midway with an injury. Adama DIATTA (SEN), who is now a three-time Olympian, claimed the lone spot for his country by edging Haithem DAKHLAOUI (TUN) to win gold at 65kg.
At 86kg, Ekerekeme AGIOMOR (NGR) could not have scripted a better finish for himself. Fateh BENFERDJALLAH (ALG) surprised Agiomor with a five-point throw after starting with a single attack. Trailing 6-5 in the final 10 seconds of the bout, the Nigerian got an exposure over the Algerian to claim the gold medal.