CameroonCoach: Serge Christian Guebogo
In June, Cameroon hosted the 2020 CAHB Women’s African Championship. They played solid at home beating Kenya (40:16), Nigeria (31:19) and DR Congo (26:21) in the preliminary round.
Afterwards, they knocked Nigeria out in the quarter-finals (44:14) and Congo in a close semi-final match (22:21) – claiming not only a ticket to their third IHF Women’s World Championship but also securing their best rank at the continental competition since 2004.
Even though they suffered a clear loss in the final versus Angola (15:25), the conclusions were more than satisfactory. Coach Serge Christian Guebogo is optimistic about the future of his team:
“It’s a young group. The average age is 22 years old. Our aim is to do better than at the last World Championship [they were 20th at Germany 2017]. If possible, we want to make the top rank in the President’s Cup.”
23-year-old right back Karichma Kaltouma Ekoh was awarded All-star right back at the African Championship and is one of the team’s best weapons in attack. She plays for Stella St Maur in France. Another back to highlight for the African nation is Cyrielle Cebanga Baboga – at 24 years, she also competes in France’s Nationale 2, dressed in ASUL Vaulx en Velin’s uniform.
29-year-old centre back Anne Michelle Essam is one of the team’s most experienced and skilled athletes. The FAP de Yaounde playmaker represented Cameroon at Germany 2017, contributing eight goals.
At the 2021 IHF Women’s World Championship, Cameroon will share Group B with three European sides – the Tokyo 2020 silver medallists RHF, Serbia and Poland.
“The strongest spot of our team is our defence,” says coach Guebogo, who accepts they still must evolve in attack. “We are using all means that we have to prepare our team.”
To find their best shape for Spain 2021, Cameroon are training daily and playing friendly games every five days.
Key players: Anne Michelle Essam (centre back), Karichma Kaltouma Ekoh (right back), Cyrielle Cebanga Baboga (right back)
Qualification for Spain 2021: 2020 CAHB Women’s African Championship — 2nd place
History in tournament: 2005: 22nd, 2017: 20th
Group at Spain 2021: Group B (RHF, Serbia, Cameroon, Poland)