All eyes on Nigeria at African Championships

Edwin  - CEO March 14, 2024
Updated 2024/03/15 at 3:30 AM
7 Min Read
68kg WW - Blessing Oborududu (NGR) defeats Priyanka Priyanka Image credit UWW
68kg WW - Blessing Oborududu (NGR) defeats Priyanka Priyanka Image credit UWW

#WrestleAlexandria Senior African Championships 2024 Preview


57kg WW – Odunayo Folasade Adekuoroye (NGR) defeats Elvira Kamaloglu (TUR) Image credit UWW


At last year’s African Championships, Nigeria entered finals in all ten women’s weight classes. Out of the 10, it won six gold and four silver medals, Vinay Siwach reports for UWW.


Nigeria will look to improve its performance from 2023 at the African Championships, which will be held on March 18 and 19 in Alexandria, Egypt. The U17 and U20 African Championships will be held before the senior competition at the same venue.


After a two-day break, the African and Oceania OG Qualifiers will also be held in Alexandria, making the African Championships even more critical as the countries participating in the first event will be eligible to participate in the qualifiers.


Nigeria will be led by world bronze medalist Odunayo ADEKUOROYE (NGR) at 57kg as she returns to competition for the first time since September. She skipped last year’s championships, but a gold medal in Alexandria will earn her 10000 points. A win will ensure that Adekuoroye tops the 57kg rankings.


Tokyo Olympic silver medalist Blessing OBORUDUDU (NGR) will defend her 68kg gold medal. Oborududu has failed to repeat her performances since winning that silver in Tokyo. However, she won the African title for a record 10th time last year.


The 65kg champion Khadija JLASSI (TUN) is now jumping up to 68kg and will look to challenge Oborududu in the new weight class.


At 50kg, Mercy GENESIS (NGR) is returning to defend her gold, as is Christianah OGUNSANYA (NGR) at 53kg, Mercy ADEKUOROYE (NGR) at 59kg, and Ebi BIOGOS (NGR) at 72kg.


Esther Kowalole (NGR) finished with a silver medal at 62kg, but with Marwa AMRI (TUN) moving into coaching, she will be the favorite to win the gold medal in Alexandria.


The 76kg weight class can offer some interesting match-ups, as 72kg bronze medalist Zaineb SGHAIER (TUN) has moved to the Olympic weight class. She will likely face Hannah RUEBEN (NGR), who won a silver medal at 76kg last year.


Yousiff HEMIDA (EGY)Yousiff HEMIDA (EGY) was African champion in 2022. (Photo: UWW / Bayrem Ben Mrad)



The six Olympic weight classes will see intense battles. 57kg champion Diamantino IUNA FAFE (GBS) will be the favorite to win the gold medal, but bronze medalist Khalil BARKOUTI (TUN) is returning.


The 65kg weight class will see a new champion as only bronze medalist Zohier IFTENE (ALG) is returning for the African Championships. But it will be challenging to count out Shehabeldin MOHAMED (EGY), Wotna NDOC (GBS), Yassine JAA (MAR), Sylvio DIATTA (SEN) and Mohamed BEN HAFSIA (TUN).


Last year’s silver medalist Bacar NDUM (GBS) will start as the favorite at 74kg as Amr REDA (EGY) has decided to skip the championships for the qualifiers.


It will be a similar story in 86kg as only bronze medalist Harrison ONOVWIOMOGBOHWO (NGR) is returning to upgrade his medal. The 2023 gold medalist Fateh BENFERDJALLAH (ALG) will be looking to qualify for Algeria later, and he will be replaced by Oussama ABDELLAOUI (ALG) for the championships.


At 97kg, none of the 2023 medalists are entered, and a new African champion will be crowned. Fares YAHI (ALG), Abdelrahman ABOUHEIBA (EGY), and Anas SAMIR (MAR) will fancy their chances for the same.


Egypt will be looking to keep the 125kg medal to itself, and that responsibility will be on Youssif HEMIDA (EGY), who is replacing the gold medalist Diaaeldin KAMAL (EGY). However, silver medalist Hamza RAHMANI (TUN) hopes to change the color of his medal.


At 61kg, Abdelhak KHERBACHE (ALG) is returning to defend his gold medal, while 79kg silver medalist Chems FETAIRIA (ALG) is also entered.


Moustafa ALAMELDIN (EGY)U20 world champion Moustafa ALAMELDIN (EGY) is the favorite at 67kg. (Photo: UWW / Kostadin Andonov)



World bronze medalist and defending champion Abdellatif MOHAMED (EGY) will be eyeing his eighth African Championships title as he enters the competition at 130kg. He has also won two African Games gold medals.


Mohamed has dominated the super heavyweight class for years on the continent and will likely have smooth sailing to gold again.


With most of Algeria’s first team entering the Olympic Qualifiers, Egypt has a huge chance to win gold medals in multiple weight classes. Last year, Egypt and Algeria shared five gold medals each in Greco-Roman.


At 60kg, Haithem MAHMOUD (EGY) will look to defend his gold medal, but 55kg champion Mohamed DRIDI (ALG) has jumped up a weight class to challenge Mahmoud. Ibrahim BUNDUKA (SLE), who won a silver medal, is also in the mix.


No medalists from last year are entered at 67kg, leaving the weight class open for a new champion. U20 world champion Moustafa ALAMELDIN (EGY) will be the favorite to win the gold. He won a silver medal at the 2022 championships. Fayssal BENFREDJ (ALG) and Oussama NASR (TUN) can challenge Alameldin.


The 77kg will see returning champion Mohamed KHALIL (EGY) hoping to win a second straight gold medal. Algeria entered Chawki DOULACHE (ALG) as a Freestyle bronze medalist last year. Francisco KADIMA (ANG) entered Greco-Roman this year.


Haithem ISSAAD (ALG) and Noureldin HASSAN (EGY) will likely wrestle for the gold medal at 87kg as most medalists have skipped this tour for the qualifiers.


At 97kg, Emad ABOUELATTA (EGY) is challenging himself by moving up a weight class. He won a silver medal at 87kg last year and is entered in the new weight this year. But Amine BENDJELLOUL (ALG) will be keen on getting a hand on the Egyptian. Bendjelloul has big shoes to fill as he has been named the replacement for Bachir SID AZARA (ALG).


Algeria has Abdelmalek MERABET (ALG) as the returning champion at 72kg.


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