(SEPT 16) The 11th African Games
have ended in Brazzaville, Congo, with some outstanding
successes for the boxers from Algeria and Nigeria.
The Algerians topped the table with five Golds from the thirteen
on offer on finals day. Nigeria placed second with four golds,
two of them in the women’s Olympic weights.
Edith Agu-Ogoke (Blue) at
London 2012 Olympics - Photo: AIBA
Some 22 women and 173 men from 30
countries took part in the Multi Sport Games at the Talangai
Gymnasium in the capital.
A historic first then for Algerian Flyweight (51kg) Souhila
Bouchene who overcame the strong challenge of Nigeria’s Caroline
Linus in the Flyweight (51kg) final. .
There was success for Nigeria in the remaining two women’s
weight categories , as both Kehinde Obareh (60 kg) and Edith Agu
Ogoke (75 kg) took the respective titles.
Ogoke, a corporal in the Nigerian Army took a bronze at the 2014
Commonwealth Games in Glasgow having previously reached the
quarter finals at the 2012 Olympics in London.
There she was stopped in Round 4, by the Russian, Nadezda
Strongly tipped to win the title in Brazzaville, she was
confident of winning : “I am here for a gold and I know I can do
it. I believe in myself and my ability.
“I also know that by God’s grace I will fulfill my dream and
desire in Brazzaville”.
South African boxing has lost its way in recent years though
this year they did include one female in their squad, 24 years
old Kwa-Zulu Natal pugilist Bathabile Ziqubu.
She reached the semi-final going out only to eventual Gold
medallist Bouchene and is one to watch in forthcoming AIBA
tournaments of that there is little doubt.
Prior to the opening ceremony, South African Head Coach/Manager
Johan Prinsloo predicted : “She's a good little boxer and can
definitely go quite far here”.
A bronze in her first major tournament is a good start.
AIBA Executive Director Karim Bouzidi, himself from Algeria,
will take much pleasure from these results and hopefully
encourage him to fight even harder to ensure that
women can soon take their rightful place in the WSB series where
he is also General Manager.
Undoubtedly he will also be encouraging African nations to make
sure that the number of African women increases dramatically
before the next Games.
The 22 who entered here came from eleven countries out of the 30
affiliated to the AIBA so much work is needed and the AIBA also
needs to properly fund the sport on the African continent.
Equally important is that he continues to champion the cause for
five or more weights in the Tokyo Olympics, together with AIBA
President Dr C.K.Wu.
Many within the AIBA ‘family’ believe that Mr Bouzidi has been
appointed in his new Executive Director role by Dr Wu with a
view to becoming the President when the latter retires or
if Dr Thomas Bach leaves the International Olympic Committee
(IOC) where Dr Wu is already on the Executive Committee and a
In the female category, a reminder that Nigeria’s Edith Agu
Ogoke defeated Rana Abdelhamid of Egypt in the middleweight,
while Kehinde Obareh outpointed Tunisian Hilimi Khouloud in the
President of the Nigeria Boxing Federation, NBF, Kenneth Minima,
told the News Agency of Nigeria that these results hailed a new
era for the country’s boxers.
“I am very happy at the performance of our boxers in this
competition. They did very well. It is a new hope that there are
lots of opportunities for boxing in Nigeria,” he said.
Gold medal winners in Brazzaville:
Women’s 51 kg: Souhila Bouchene, Algeria
Women’s 60 kg: Kehinde Obareh, Nigeria
Women’s 75 kg: Edith Agu Ogoke, Nigeria
Men’s 49 kg: Francel Moussiesse, Congo
Men’s 52 kg: Mohamed Flissi, Algeria
Men’s 56 kg: Bilel M’Hamdi, Tunisia
Men’s 60 kg: Reda Benbaziz, Algeria
Men’s 64 kg: Abdelkader Chadi, Algeria
Men’s 69 kg: Oluwafemi Oyeleye, Nigeria
Men’s 75 kg: Seyi Ntsengue, Cameroon
Men’s 81 kg: Abdelhafid Benchabla, Algeria
Men’s 91 kg: Kennedy St. Pierre, Mauritius
Men’s +91 kg: Efe Ajagba, Nigeria