Egypt Rules African Juniors in Algiers

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The Nigerian team to the tournament and their a group picture
The Nigerian team to the tournament and their coach…in a group picture

Egypt swept all the 15 gold medals at stake at the 2016 ITTF African Junior & Cadet Championships held in Algiers.
The seven-day championship featured over 12 countries including host – Algeria, Nigeria, Tunisia, Congo Brazzaville, South Africa, Morocco, Angola, Mauritius, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Morocco and Togo.
In the team events for cadet, junior and U-21, Egypt claimed all the six gold medals while in the singles, the six gold medals were carted home by the Egyptians.
Despite strong opposition from Nigeria in the doubles events, Egypt again claimed the three gold medals to clinch all the 15 gold medals at the tournament.
With its 22-man team winning 15 gold, six silver and five bronze medals, Egypt was adjudged the overall winner of the competition, while Nigeria with six-man team finished second with four silver and six silver medals to beat Tunisia, which has a 20-man team to third place.
Algeria was however upstaged in the top three by Tunisia, which garnered three silver and seven bronze medals.
The host – Algeria had to settle for fourth place with two silver and seven bronze medals. Congo Brazzaville won three bronze medals while Angola and Mauritius has one bronze medal to show for their efforts in Algiers.
In the junior girls’ singles, defending champion, Egypt’s Amira Yousry expressed her happinenss over her ability to retain the title she claimed at the 2015 edition in Mauritius after beating compatriot – Mariam Alhodaby 4-0 in the final.
“I am so happy that I was able to defend my title this year but I must admit that it was not easy beating Mariam because the matches were so closed. Mariam is a very good player having defeated Algeria’s Sannah Lagsir in the semifinal. It was not always easy playing against Mariam because we had played several times against each other in Egypt and she only defeated me once. I am so excited that I defend my title in Algiers,” Amira Yousry.
Also in the junior boys’ singles, a new champion has emerged and he is Egypt’s Youssef Abdel-Aziz who edged out compatriot, Abdelrahman Rahmou 4-0 in the final.

Abdel-Aziz, who is ITTF Hopes Ambassador, clinched his third individual titles at the ITTF African Junior & Cadet Championship having claimed the cadet singles titles in 2014 and 2015.
“I feel good that in my participation in three African Junior Championships I won gold. Twice I won in the cadet singles while I won my third title again this year at junior level. I must also admit that my opponent in the final, RAHMOU Abdelrahman was not an easy player but I am happy I won. I think the most difficult match for me in this competition was against Tunisia’s Omar Ammous who was playing with strange pimples. The match was a bit difficult for me but in all I am so excited claiming the title here in Algiers,” Abdel-Aziz said.
Also, Egypt and Nigeria qualified their boys and girls teams for the 2016 ITTF World Junior Championship holding in Cape Town, South Africa in November. Tunisia’s boys’ team and Algeria’s girls complete the continental quota for the global championship. South Africa as the host will be the fourth African team competing at the Cape Town tournament.

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