The semi-finals of the African Championship in Rabat, Morocco, the continental qualification for the Olympic Games, ended with a huge surprise: The Egyptian men missed the final and are out for the fight for the ticket to the Olympics or Olympic Qualification Tournaments after losing a nail-biting thriller against Algeria. Aside all favourites made their way to the finals, where the Angolan women (defending champion) will face Tunisia, and the Tunisian men (defending champion) will compete with Algeria.
The final winners will directly qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, whereas the runners-ups secure a place in the Olympic Qualification Tournaments (men: 6-8 April, women: 25-27 May).
The two leading African nations of the last decade qualified for the final of the women’s tournament: Angola, eighth ranked team at the 2011 Women’s World Championship in Brazil and defending African champions, had an easy walk through the semi-finals. They beat DR Congo absolutely clearly 39:19 (23:9) in an one-sided match. Tunisia - runners-up at the last African Championship and 18th ranked team of the 2011 Women’s World Championship - had some more problems, but in the end reached a 27:24 (10:10) victory over their neighbours of Algeria.
So Angola vs. Tunisia will again be the finalists, whereas DR Congo and Algeria fight for the Bronze medal.
Egypt is out of the race for the ticket to the Olympics. The long-term dominating African men’s team missed the chance to proceed to London by losing a highly thrilling semi-final against Algeria 25:26, after leading 14:12 at the break. By reaching only the Bronze final, Egypt do no longer have any chance to go to London. Algeria will face defending champion Tunisia in the final in Rabat. The Tunisians had no problems to get a clear 28:16 (15:7) victory over host Morocco.
In addition the placement round for the ranks 5-8 has come to an end: Senegal secured the fifth place by closely beating Angola 28:27, while Cameroon took the seventh place by winning 29:25 against DR Congo.
The final ranking of the places 5-12:
5. Senegal, 6. Angola, 7. Cameroon, 8. DR Congo, 9. Congo, 10. Ivory Coast, 11. Gabon, 12. Burkina Faso