Egypt grabbed its first title since 2008 at the 2016 African Men’s Handball Championship. The 12-team tournament was split into two groups of six teams where the top four advance to the quarter-finals. The winner of the tournament qualified to the Olympics. The African Men’s Handball Championship was held in Cairo, Egypt from January 21st to January 30th 2016.
Egypt topped Group A with a 100% record including defeating 2014 champion Algeria in a 22-18 match. Morocco grabbed third place of the group with a narrow 26-24 win over Cameroon while Cameroon grabbed the final spot with wins over Nigeria and Gabon.
Group B was won by Tunisia though they required a comeback in order to defeat Angola 23-21 on the final day of the group stage. Poor second halves were something that plagued Angola in the group stage as the team not only lost the lead to Tunisia, but lost a chunk of its lead to Republic of Congo and Congo DR. The Congo rivalry was quite apparent at this competition as the match went down to the wire with Congo DR winning over Republic of Congo 30-29. Republic of Congo clinched the final spot with a comeback against Libya. Even though the match ended in a 21-21 tie Republic of Congo advanced due to a better goal differential.
In the quarter-finals the favourites all ended up winning. Egypt and Algeria and no problems dispatching Republic of Congo (39-18) and Congo DR (34-25) respectively, Cameroon kept close with Tunisia, but Tunisia was able to win 24-20. The match of the round was between Angola and Morocco. The match was 9-9 at the half and remained close for pretty much the entire match, but it was Angola who walked to the semi-final with a 22-21 win.
The semi-finals showed both Egypt’s and Tunisia’s strength as both nations went up early and extended their lead over their opponents. Egypt defeated Angola 25-15 and Tunisia defeated Algeria 27-18.
The final was a close affair between Egypt and Tunisia. A stronger second half ended up benefiting Egypt as they won the tournament and a spot to the Olympics via a score of 21-19. Angola obtained the bronze medal with a 24-19 win over Algeria.
This will be Egypt’s sixth Olympics over the past seven Olympic tournaments. Tunisia will get a second opportunity to qualify to the Olympics at the final Olympic qualification tournament. They will be competing for one of two spots against Poland, Macedonia and Chile.
- Congo DR
- CAHB. 2016 Men’s African Championship – Schedule and Results. Access on January 30 2016.