Egypt and Algeria vying for All Africa s

Published: Sunday, July 22, 2007, 20:08 [IST]
 

ALGIERS, July 21 (Reuters) - Egypt, the most successful nation in the history of the All Africa Games, is vying with host nation Algeria for top spot in the continent's biggest sporting event.

With two days to the end of the ninth edition of these Games, Egypt is leading with 60 gold medals as well as 52 silver and 47 bronze, ahead of the host nation Algeria's 57 golds.

Algeria, which has also won 48 silver and 61 bronze medals, has been desperate to deliver the ultimate prize and justify the heavy burden of hosting the games.

The men's handball final between Egypt and Algeria yesterday is a must-win for the two nations, who took most of their medals in judo, kick-boxing, weightlifting and karate.

Algeria's wheelchair basketball team will also feel the pressure when they face South Africa in the final today. But with six boxers in the final Algeria has a chance to overtake Egypt in the final ranking.

It cost 14.46 million dollars to renovate 40 sports venues in the four cities of Algiers, Blida, Boumerdes and Tipaza.

South Africa, who dominated the swimming with 53 medals, are third with 52 gold, 48 silver and 45 bronze. In Friday's late events, Nigerian wrestler Boaz Issaak won the gold in the 60kg category after beating Egyptian Ibrahim Hassen in the final.

On the track, Ghana's women broke the dominance of Nigerians in 4x100m relay by winning gold in 43.84 seconds. Nigerians have won all gold medals since 1978.

Nigeria's Toyin Augustus won the women's 100m hurdles gold by clocking 13.23 seconds. Her team mate Jessica Ohanaja was 0.04 second adrift to take the silver.

The men's 4x100m gold also went to Nigeria and South Africa and Zimbabwe claimed silver and bronze.

Tunisia's Hatem Goula won the men's 20-kilometre walk yesterday in a time of one hour 22 minutes 33 seconds, beating the Kenyan defending champion David Kimutai into second place in one hour 24 minutes and 16 seconds. Algerian Mohammed Ameur was third.

Botswanan sprinter Amantle Monsho won the tiny land-locked southern African nation's first athletics gold in the women's 400m with a time of 51.13 seconds.

South African javelin thrower Justine Robbeson took the gold with a throw of 58.09 metres.

REUTERS BJR VC1932


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