Wednesday saw the last quarter-finals of the African continent’s Rio 2016 qualifiers, and the 52 boxers remaining in the competition are now within touching distance of an Olympic quota place. Algerian and Moroccan boxers have led the way, with both teams still boasting seven members in contention, while five boxers from the host nation Cameroun remain with a chance of qualification.
The bantamweights began the day, as Ghana’s Omar Abdul Wahid halted 18 year-old Zambian Emmanuel Ngoma’s brave Olympic charge. Abdul will now face Lesotho’s Suntele Inkululeko in the semi-finals after he defeated Ugandan veteran Atanas Mugerwa. The second semi-final will see Morocco’s WSB star Mohamed Hamout, winner against South Africa’s Ayabonga Sonjica, take on Tunisia’s All Africa Games winner Bilel M’Hamdi after he won every round against Algeria’s Fahem Hammachi.
Seychelles’ African Cup of Nations winner Andrique Allisop continued his Olympic dream, the early dominance against Ethiopia’s Mesfin Biru Keralah enough to see him through. Tunisia’s Alaa Shili then took a step closer to his second Olympic Games after beating Benin’s Martin Klaklevi Kouassi.
Congo’s Anauel Ngamissengue caused an upset in the middleweight competition, twice knocking down Botswana’s number one seed Zibani Chikanda on his way to the semi-finals. Cameroon star and All Africa Games winner Wilfried Dieudonne Seyi Ntsengue dazzled once more in front of his home fans as he eliminated Tunisia’s London 2012 Olympian Yahia Elmekachari.
Congo’s Dival Forele Malonga Dzaiamou continued to make a name for himself with a TKO triumph over Botswana’s top-seed Kagiso Bagwasi, and Morocco’s Hamza El-Barbari edged through his quarter-final against Richarno Colin of Mauritius at light welterweight. Also comfortably into the semi-finals was favourite Jonas Junius Jonas.
“It was not my best performance against the Ethiopian boxer (Girmachew Bahiru) but I know I can perform better if I box a better opponent. I know my semi-final opponent, but I don’t really stress myself thinking of the next match,” said Namibia’s Jonas, who now faces home favourite Mahaman Smaila for a place in the final.