The first African sailing quotas were decided today at the 2019 Laser & RS:X African Championships. In terms of Olympic qualification, the highest ranked eligible nation in the RS:X and the two highest ranked eligible nations in the men’s laser and women’s laser radial will be given a spot to compete at the games. The Laser & RS:X African Championships was held in Algiers, Algeria from October 8th to October 12th 2019.
The three major competitors of the men’s RS:X were Algerians Ahmed-Ramzi Boudjatit and Hamza Bouras and Jean-Marc Gardette of the Seychelles. Going into the medal race Gardette held a one point lead over Bouras. The deciding race saw Bouras out maneuver Gardette to win the race and the Olympic quota with a score of 21 net points. Gardette finished second (22 net points) while Boudjatit won bronze with 29 net points.
The women’s RS:X on the other hand was led by Algeria’s Amina Berrichi for most of the event as she would go on to win gold and the Olympic quota, finishing with 17 net points. She finished just ahead of her compatriot Katia Belabbas whom had 19 net points while Egypt’s Sherifa Reda won the bronze medal with 23 net points.
While Rodney Govinden of the Seychelles had a poor start in the men’s laser where he finished 11th and 10th in the third and fourth races, as the worst two results were eventually dropped, he moved into an almost uncatchable lead going into the final day. Govinden did enough to ensure the gold medal by finishing with 22 net points. The silver medal and second Olympic quota was won by Egypt’s Aly Badawy (46 net points) while the bronze medal was won by Angola’s Manuel Lelo (59 net points).
The top sailors in the women’s laser radial were Egypt’s Khouloud Mansy and Mozambique’s Deisy Nhaquille as they won 9/11 races between them. Going into the final day Mansy held a two point lead. However, Nhaquille would go on to win the medal race and a fourth place finish by Mansy meant Nhaquille won the gold medal with a score of 18 net points. Mansy still qualified to the Olympics as she finished second (22 net points). The bronze medal was won by Algeria’s Mallia Karassane (35 net points).
This was the final opportunity for African nations to qualify in these events. The next African qualifier will be in the 470 boats to be held in January 2020.