Democratic Republic of CongoCoach: Celestin Mpoua Nkoua
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo have appeared just twice at the IHF Women’s World Championship. They finished 20th at Serbia 2013 and last (24th) at Denmark 2015 with coach Celestin Mpoua Nkoua overseeing both of those finishes after taking the role back in 2012.
At DR Congo’s most recent World Championship, in Denmark, they failed to gain a point in the group phase that featured Argentina, Brazil, Republic of Korea, France and Germany. They narrowly lost in their first match of the 21-24 placement round/President’s Cup against Kazakhstan, despite leading 12:11 at the break, before suffering a 10-goal loss to Cuba 29:19.
Leading the way for DR Congo is their star left back Christianne Mwasesa Mwange. She won three of the five Best Player of the Match Awards in those 2015 preliminary group games and another in their first President’s Cup match. She finished the tournament with 45 goals.
From Lubumbashi, Mwasesa was discovered playing in DR Congo by French coach Thierry Vincent before signing her first professional contract with Abidjan in Ivory Coast. She then moved to France and enjoyed success with Toulon Saint Cyr Var Handball winning the French championship, French cup and qualifying for their first-ever EHF Champions League qualification.
Mwasesa now plays for continental powerhouse Primeiro de Agosto where she has also won numerous titles including the first-ever IHF Women’s Super Globe in August, where she finished as fourth top scorer thanks to 18 goals in three games including seven in the final.
In December 2018, Mwasesa helped guide her country to Japan 2019 after winning bronze at the CAHB Women’s African Championship, thanks to a 33:22 victory against Cameroon in a do-or-die match. The bronze medal match-up came after they lost 22:21 to Senegal in a very close semi-final.
In August 2019, they won bronze again – this time at the 2019 Africa Games held in Morocco. DR Congo defeated Morocco 45:25, Guinea 26:21, Nigeria 29:23 and lost to Angola 27:21 in the preliminary group but came back to ease past Tunisia 36:25 in the quarter-final. However, they fell short again of the final, losing 30:25 to Cameroon in the semi-final before grabbing a podium place with another victory over Guinea, 32:22 in the 3/4 placement match.
Key player: Christianne Mwasesa Mwange (left back)
Qualification for Japan 2019: 2018 CAHB Women’s African Championship – Third Place
History in tournament: 1957-2011: DNQ, 2013: 20th, 2015: 24th, 2017: DNQ
Group at Japan 2019: Group D (Russia, Sweden, Japan, PR of China, Argentina, DR Congo)