Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt and Tunisia qualify Olympic places at African Games
Tunisia is set to make its Olympic archery debut at Tokyo 2020 after qualifying two quota places – for one man and one woman – at the 2019 African Games in Rabat. Egypt will be also awarded a men’s place for Tokyo and Cote d’Ivoire a spot in the women’s competition at the Games.
Tunisia’s Mohamed Hammed, the fourth seed, will face third-ranked Egyptian archer Sherif Mohamed in the recurve men’s gold medal match in Rabat.
Hammed upset favourite Youssof Tolba in the semifinals.
“It’s like, how to say, when a dream becomes a reality. It is the dream that becomes a reality for archery in Tunisa,” said Mohamed. “We have worked for four years for this mind-blowing goal.”
His Tunisian teammate, Rihab Elwalid, shot her way through the recurve women’s bracket from the 18th seed. She upset Olympian Reem Mansour, 6-2, in the second round and secured a spot in the final with a five-set semifinal victory over South Africa’s Catharina Whitehead.
Elwalid faces Esmei Anne-Marcelle Diombo of Cote d’Ivoire in the final.
Diombo, who was eighth over qualification, defeated number one seed Quinn Reddig of Namibia in the quarterfinals.
“My coach said to stay calm,” said Diombo, who has only been shooting for about 18 months. “I was motivated but I did not think I’d get this far. I will train more to prepare myself and I hope to do my best. It is said that Japan is a beautiful country.”
There are six Olympic quota places in total available in Rabat. The first two will be awarded to the winner of the recurve mixed team competition. The two highest finishing athletes in the individual events from nations without places also win spots.
Two quota places depend on the outcome of the mixed team final between Namibia and Egypt.
If Namibia wins the match, the country will qualify one men’s and one women’s place. The four other spots will be awarded to the individual gold and silver medallists.
However, if Namibia loses, then Egypt will qualify the two places in the mixed team event. The men’s spot the Egyptian team would receive as a top-two finisher in the individual competition would then be reassigned down the final ranking.
Since there is another archer from Egypt shooting in the recurve men’s bronze medal match, we already know that the quota place would go to Chad.
Neither Chad nor Namibia has ever competed in an archery competition at the Olympic Games before.
The archery competitions at the 2019 African Games take place on 26-30 August in Rabat, Morocco.