Best in Africa

Inas Mazhar , Tuesday 26 Mar 2024

Egyptian athletes dominated the 2023 African Games, topping the final medals table, reports Inas Mazhar

Egyptian athletes dominated the 2023 African Games
Egyptian athletes dominated the 2023 African Games

 

Egyptians dazzled at the African Games which recently concluded in Ghana as they skillfully amassed a total of 192 medals - 102 gold, 47 silver and 43 bronze medals to lead the standings, far ahead of second place Nigeria which claimed 120 medals: 47 gold, 33 silver and 40 gold. South Africa finished third with 106 medals, including 32 gold, 32 silver and 42 bronze medals.

Algeria, Tunisia, host Ghana, Morocco, Ethiopia, Mauritius and Kenya followed respectively from fourth to 10th place.

Egypt took part in the 2023 African edition with 390 athletes, coaches and administrators in 20 sports: arm wrestling, athletics, badminton, basketball 3x3, volleyball, beach volleyball, boxing, chess, hockey, handball, judo, karate, table-tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, weightlifting, wrestling, speedball and swimming.

During the two-week competition, 17 Egyptian sports made an appearance at the podium. Weightlifting topped the table of Egyptian medals with 36 - 27 gold, five silver and four bronze. Swimming came second with 35 medals, comprising 16 gold, 15 silver and four bronze.

Arm wrestling won an overall 19 medals (14 gold, four silver and one bronze). Wrestling collected 18 medals (10 gold, 4 silver and 4 bronze medals) while karate clinched 15 medals (10 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze). Table tennis claimed an overall 11 medals (6 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze). Taekwondo followed with 16 medals (5 gold, 7 silver and 4 bronze). Chess had six medals (5 gold and a silver) whereas volleyball settled for two gold medals, one for the men’s team and the other for the women.

Judo earned nine medals (one gold, one silver and 7 bronze medals) and tennis the same (2 gold, 2 silver and 5 bronze medals). Athletics won five medals (a gold, a silver and 3 bronze). Handball, field hockey and beach volleyball each took the gold medal. Boxing garnered four medals (2 silver and 2 bronze) as did badminton with one silver and 3 bronze.

The medals earned in Ghana increased the number of Egyptians who have qualified for this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris through world and continental qualifying championships.

Egyptians going to Paris have now reached 118 male and female athletes in 18 sports, including football (18), fencing (16), handball (14), volleyball (12), shooting (11), wrestling (10), artistic swimming (8), table-tennis (6), diving (4), rowing (3), boxing (3), modern pentathlon (3), taekwondo (3), archery (2), sailing (2), equestrian (1), canoe-kayak (1), and swimming (1).

Egyptian Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhi was initially in Ghana, then rooted for the delegation from back home, following up their daily accomplishments. However, Sobhi returned to Ghana to celebrate the Egyptian achievement in the closing ceremony. Sobhi received the flag of the African Games for the next edition, scheduled to be held in Egypt in 2027. Egypt had hosted what was then called the All-Africa Games in 1991.

Sobhi, who returned with the delegation on the same flight, announced to officials and the media that Egypt was ready “from now” to host the next edition of the Games and promised to deliver an “outstanding and spectacular event” in Cairo, with state-of-the-art and infrastructural sports facilities.


* A version of this article appears in print in the 28 March, 2024 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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