Egypt are Kings of Africa again and heading to Tokyo 2020
27 Jan. 2020
Egypt have won the 2020 CAHB Men’s African Championship, also known as the ‘African Cup of Nations’ (CAN), after defeating North African rivals, and hosts, Tunisia in the final last night 27:22 (15:11).
The final was the clash of the two teams who had won all of their previous six games each in the competition and was the battle between two Spanish coaches – Toni Gerona for Tunisia and Roberto Garcia Parrondo for Egypt.
And on a day which would be historic for Spanish handball, as their team retained the EHF Men’s European Championship, the final was whistled by the Spanish IHF couple of Andreu Marin and Ignacio Garcia Serradilla.
Within 10 minutes of the final starting a packed Salle Couverte de Rades saw Tunisia lead by two (5:3) but Egypt pulled it back (5:5) before going ahead quickly, 8:5, thanks to three fast-breaks, including two strikes into an unguarded net as Tunisia took out their goalkeeper in attack.
From this point onwards though Tunisia struggled to get back in the game as Egypt went 10:6 up and kept a four-goal lead until the break (15:11). By the 43rd minute they were five up (21:16) and the result was never in doubt as the visitors extended their lead to seven a minute later (23:16, 44th minute).
Egypt celebrated wildly at the final whistle and were then later presented with their trophy from the Tunisia Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Sonia Ben Cheikh.
The title is Egypt’s seventh in the competition and saw them automatically qualify for the men’s handball tournament of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
As soon as the result was confirmed the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, posted a congratulations message on his official Facebook page:
“I congratulate the Egyptian people and the Egyptian men’s national team players for winning the African Cup of Nations’ title and also their qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” he said.
“I would like to convey my gratitude for their outstanding and heroic performance, strength, spirit and determination to win.”
The Egypt squad and delegation will return home later today (Monday 27 January) to what will surely be a heroes’ welcome in Cairo.
The 2020 CAHB Men’s African Championship had 16 nations competing across 52 games in total and the final day also saw the bronze medal presented, to Algeria, who beat Angola 32:27.
The top six teams also directly qualified through to the 2021 IHF Men’s World Championship, hosted by Egypt. As the host nation also won the 2020 CAHB Men’s African Championship, this means teams two through seven are qualified.
Teams competing in Tunisia included Egypt (EGY), DR Congo (COD), Guinea (GUI), Kenya (KEN), Angola (ANG), Gabon (GAB), Nigeria (NGR), Libya (LBA), Tunisia (TUN), Cameroon (CMR), Cote d’Ivoire (CIV), Cape Verde (CPV), Morocco (MAR), Algeria (ALG), Congo (CGO) and Zambia (ZAM).
The 2022 CAHB Men’s African Championship will be held in Morocco.
1. Egypt (Qualified for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games)
2. Tunisia* (Qualified for Olympic Qualification Tournament)
3. Algeria* (Qualified for Olympic Qualification Tournament)
5. Cape Verde*
7. DR Congo*
14. Cote d’Ivoire
*Qualified for 2021 IHF Men’s World Championship
PHOTO: CONFÉDÉRATION AFRICAINE DE HANDBALL