Angola went undefeated to win their 13th African Women’s Handball Championship, showcasing that they are still the dominant force of women’s handball in Africa. The winner of the tournament also qualified to the 2020 Olympics. The 2018 African Women’s Handball Championship was held in Brazzaville, Congo from December 2nd to December 12th 2018.
The 10-team tournament was split into two groups of five teams. Group A saw Senegal go undefeated which included a 26-21 victory over 2014 champions, Tunisia. Tunisia had a relatively poor performance where in addition to the loss they tied Algeria and Cameroon 24-24 and 25-25 respectively, ultimately finishing third. Cameroon finished second in the group while Algeria advanced over Cote d’Ivoire in fourth place thanks to a 27-25 victory during the first round of matches.
Group B was dominated by regional powerhouse Angola whom finished undefeated and with a +81 goal difference. Both Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo finished level on points due to a 29-29 draw between the two nations. A better goal differential sent DR Congo as the second-place team. The final spot to the quarter-finals went to Guinea whom defeated Morocco 36-23.
The quarter-finals saw Angola easily dispatched Algeria, 41-17 while both Senegal and DR Congo grabbed 23-16 and 37-30 victories over Guinea and Tunisia respectively. Republic of the Congo was unable to complete the comeback as they lost to Cameroon 22-21, whom completed the semi-finalists.
Senegal was the first nation to book their spot to the final after defeating DR Congo in a tense 22-21 match. This is their first time reaching the final match in this format at the African Women’s Handball Championship. Angola booked the other spot to the final with their 25-16 victory over Cameroon.
The final saw Senegal take an early lead over Angola and holding it to 10-7 at half-time. Angola however, was able to outplay the Senegalese team in the second half to win the tournament and a spot at the Olympics 19-14. The bronze medal was won by DR Congo whom defeated Cameroon 33-22.
This will be Angola’s seventh appearance in a row at the Olympics, making them one of the most consistent nations to appear at recent games. Senegal and possibly DR Congo will have a second opportunity to qualify to the Olympics at the final qualification tournaments to be held in 2020.