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Souhila Bouchene, Kehinde Obareh and Edith Agu Ogoke are inaugural champions at African Games in Brazzaville
by Michael O'Neill
September 16, 2015

(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 Torlopova.

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 perhaps earlier

if Dr Thomas Bach leaves the International Olympic Committee (IOC) where Dr Wu is already on the Executive Committee and a Vice President.

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 lightweight division.

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

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