Rowing: 12 Nations Book Their Spots After African Qualification Regatta

Twelve nations qualified at least one boat at the 2019 African Olympic Qualification Regatta. The top five eligible boats in the single sculls and the top eligible boat in the lightweight double sculls qualified a spot to compete at the games. A nation can only qualify one boat except in the case where a nation finished first in both events and did not qualify a boat at the World Championships. The African Olympic Qualification Regatta was held in Tunis, Tunisia from October 10th to October 12th 2019.

The preliminary round of the women’s lightweight double sculls was won by Algeria’s Amina Rouba and Nawel Chiali whom completed the race in a time of 7:52.11. The final race however, was won by the Tunisian pair of Nour El-Houda Ettaieb and Khadija Krimi whom finished with a time of 7:49.02. The Algerian pair won silver with a time of 7:55.86 while the only other competitor, Egypt was third (8:28.12).

Algeria’s Kamel Ait Daoud and Sid Ali Boudina won the preliminary race of the men’s lightweight double sculls, finishing with a time of 7:00.51. The pair would repeat that performance to win gold and the Olympic quota with a time of 7:00.40. The silver and bronze medals were won by Tunisia (7:05.50) and Egypt (7:15.67) respectively.

The heats for the women’s single sculls saw Namibia’s Maike Diekmann finish with the fastest overall time where she won the first heat with a time of 8:34.05. The second chance Repechage was won by Kenya’s Diana Wanyony whom finished with a time of 10:41.28. The semi-final again saw Diekmann with the overall fastest time where she finished with a time of 8:32.17. Diekmann would go on to win the gold medal, finishing with a time of 8:21.65. This was far ahead of Algeria’s Nihad Benchadli (8:45.49) and Zimbabwe’s Lieben Dickens (8:48.88) whom finished second and third overall.

Due to the one boat per nation rule, the Olympic quotas were won by Namibia, Morocco (Sarah Fraincart), Uganda (Kathleen Noble), Togo (Akossiwa Ayivon) and Nigeria (Esther Toko).

Egypt’s Abdelkhalek El-Banna posted the fastest heat time of the men’s single sculls where he won the first heat with a time of 7:22.37. The two Repechages were won by Zimbabwe’s Peter Purcell-Gilpin (8:04.96) and Cote d’Ivoire’s Kouadio Franck N’Dri (8:28.02) respectively. The semi-final saw El-Banna with the overall fastest time of 7:31.34, edging out Tunisia’s Mohamed Taieb time of 7:32.27 in the second semi-final race. The final saw a tight race with El-Banna winning gold over Purcell-Gilpin whom finished with time of 7:32.53 and 7:34.29 respectively. The bronze medal was won by Taieb (7:43.46).

As with the women’s single sculls, the one boat rule meant Egypt, Zimbabwe, Benin (Privel Hinkati), Cote d’Ivoire and Libya (Al-Hussein Gambour) won quotas to compete in men’s single sculls.

Unqualified nations will have one more opportunity to qualify to the Olympics via the final Olympic qualification regatta scheduled to be held in May 2020. The next continental qualifier will be held in the Americas in April 2020.

Qualified Nations

Men’s Single Sculls
* Benin
* Cote d’Ivoire
* Egypt
* Libya
* Zimbabwe

Women’s Single Sculls
* Morocco
* Namibia
* Nigeria
* Togo
* Uganda

Men’s Lightweight Double Sculls
* Algeria

Women’s Lightweight Double Sculls
* Tunisia

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