After going a set down, Tunisia rallied to beat Cameroon 3-1 (16-25, 25-21, 25-21, 25-16) on Tuesday in the gold medal match of the African Men’s Volleyball Championship in Kigali, Rwanda.
Tunisia claim African title and World Championship berth
Tunisia increase gold medal tally to 11 at African Championship and earn World Championship berth alongside Cameroon
Published 07:05, 15 Sep 2021
Tunisia extended their continental reign by claiming their third straight title since stopping Egypt’s five-peat run in 2017 and by asserting their dominance over their 2019 rivals Cameroon for the second time in a row.
Wassim Ben Tara, who led Tunisia in scoring at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, turned the game around for his team at the opposite position in place of veteran Hamza Nagga, as he recorded 22 points off 18 spikes, three blocks and an ace. Elyes Karamosli also had a good performance, as he came off the bench and added 18 markers.
Yvan Arthur Cody starred for Cameroon with a match-high 29 points. His compatriot Christian Arthur Voukeng Mbativou added 12 points, including five blocks to match Tunisian top blocker Ahmed Kadhi’s block output.
After an overwhelming win by Cameroon in the first set, Karamosli scored nine points to lead Tunisia through the tightly contested second set, then Ben Tara took over in the next two sets to complete the title win.
Tunisia’s additional efforts at the service line and at the net made the difference in the match. The Tunisians outscored the Cameroonians in serve 7-1 and block 13-7.
Victory helped Tunisia improve their African Championship medal haul to 20 with 11 gold, seven silver and two bronze medals in 21 appearances, while Cameroon now have a total of 12 medals, including two gold, five silver and five bronze medals.
Tunisia and Cameroon will represent Africa at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship in Russia.
Meanwhile, Egypt climbed back on to the podium, placing third after their fourth-place finish two years ago in Tunisia.
Egypt bounced back after losing the opening set with a 3-1 (23-25, 28-26, 25-21, 25-18) win over Morocco to claim their 17th medal in the continental championship.
Ahmed Shafik top scored for Egypt with 30 points, while his Moroccan rivals Mohamed Al Hachdadi and Zouheir Elgraoui made 23 and 22 points, respectively.
Egypt are the second most successful men’s team with eight gold, six silver and three bronze medals in 19 appearances in the tournament.
In other matches, Uganda upset hosts Rwanda 3-1 (21-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-13) to claim fifth place, Nigeria placed sixth with their 3-0 (25-10, 25-20, 25-22) win over RD Congo.
Kenya finished ninth after their straight-set (25-21, 25-21, 25-16) victory over Mali, and Burundi took 11th place with their 3-1 (15-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-21) win against Niger.
Burkina Faso rallied from two sets down to prevail over South Sudan 3-2 (22-25, 23-25, 25-19, 26-24, 15-9) for 13th place. Ethiopia claimed 15th place via default with the withdrawal of Tanzania.