The Egyptian flag flew high so many times throughout the 12 days the 12th African Games held from 19 to 31 August 2019 in Rabat, Morocco.
The 2019 African Games featured participation of 54 African countries represented by 6,396 athletes who competed in 26 games. This year’s games hosted some 2,000 referees and trainers, and 2,000 volunteers.
Egypt topped the medal count, winning a total 273 medals: 101 gold, 97 silver, and 72 bronze. Nigeria came second with 126 medals: 46 gold, 33 silver, and 47 bronze. South Africa ranked third on the gold medal count, with 87 gold medals.
In this year’s tournament, Egypt broke the gold medal record it had already set in the 1991 round of the Games, hosted by Cairo, when it won 90 gold medals; also the total medal record of 240 set by Nigeria in 2003.
Qualifying for Tokyo 2020
The competition included 26 games: football, basketball, table tennis, handball, tennis, volleyball, badminton, swimming, athletics, fencing, gymnastics, taekwondo, boxing, judo, triathlon, canoeing, karate, chess, rowing, weightlifting, wrestling, equestrian, shooting, billiards, archery.
The Egyptians took part in 22 games, not including football or bicycling. The players’ achievements qualified many of them for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
For the first time in the history of the African Games, 17 out of 29 games were included in the list of games to qualify for the upcoming 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The decision is meant to attract the largest number of African champions.
Egypt’s swimmers won more than ten gold medals, in addition to the medals won by the men’s team. The individual men and women winners included Ahmed Akram; Hania Moro; Nour al-Guindy; Marwan al-Qammash; Muhammad Sami; Farida Osman; Ali Khalif-Allah; and Abdel-Rahman Sameh.
Egypt also got the gold medal in beach volleyball for women represented by Farida al-Askalany and Doaa al-Ghobashy. In taekwondo, the gold medals went to Hedaya Malak and Maison Ihab; and the Karate gold medals were won by Yasmin Atteya and Malik Gomaa. The gold medals in gymnastics went to Egypt’s women team, and the individuals: Farah Ahmed, Nancy Taman, Ali Zahran, Mondi Mahgoub, and Kareem Ayman.
The mixed table tennis gold went to Omar Assar and Dina Musharraf; and to Egypt’s men and women teams. The tennis gold medals went to Muhammad Safwat and Mayar Sherif. Basmalla al-Salamouni won the triathlon gold medal.
In chess, Egyptian players Bassem Amin, Ahmed Adly, and Sherouk Wafa won gold medals.
A horde of gold medals were collected in weightlifting, won by the men and women including Ahmed Saad; Rania Mahmoud; Muhammad Ihab; Karim Abu-Kahla; Sara Samir; Muhammad Selim; Samar Habashy; Ragab Abdel-Hai; Abdel-Rahman al-Sayed; Gaber Farhan.
In judo, Egyptian players Ramadan Darwish, Ali Hazem, Ali Abdel-Muati and Abdel-Rahman Muhammad won gold medals. Japan’s Ambassador to Egypt Masaki Noki expressed his happiness at Egypt’s great achievement, and offered his best wishes for more success. “Egyptian players have done their best after training superbly at the camp held in the Japanese city of Tenri,” Mr Noki noted.
Many other gold medals were won by Egyptians wrestling; shooting; athletics; and fencing.
Silver and bronze
Egypt got as well 97 silver medals in the games of billiards; rowing; swimming; taekwondo; equestrian; table tennis; basketball; handball; karate; weapon (blind and sword); gymnastics; chess; kayak; weightlifting; wrestling; shooting, and canoe. The country also won 72 bronze medals in judo and rowing.
History of African Games
The African Games were first held in 1965, in Brazzaville, Congo, and consisted of contests in athletic sports exclusively. Then the Games were hosted by Bamako in 1969; and Lagos in 1973 when the number of participating countries rose from 29 to 35. In 1978 they were held in Algiers. The games were not held again until 1987 in Nairobi, and thereafter they were quadrennial. Egypt hosted the Games in 1991, which were later played in 1995 in Harare; 1999 in Johannesburg; 2003 in Abuja; 2007 again in Algeria; 2011 in Maputo; and back to Brazzaville in 2015.
Since 1999, the Games have also included athletes with disabilities.
Throughout the history of the African Games, Egypt achieved a record winning seven times in the years 1965; 1973; 1987; 1991; 2003; 2007; and 2015. South Africa, which joined the African Games for the first time in 1995, ranked second and won three successive rounds in 1995, 1999, and 2011. Tunisia ranked the third when it won in the round of 1978.
The Supreme Council for Sport in Africa (SCSA) is the organisation body for the game.
1 September 2019