Team Nigeria made a strong finish on the final day of the 2022 Cadet and Junior African Fencing Championship to place third on the overall medals’ table of the event concluded on Sunday evening at the Festival Hotel, Festac Lagos.
Africa’s top fencing nation, Egypt, dominated the five-day championship, but their closest rivals, Algeria, also gave a good account of themselves.
South Africa, Senegal and Libya respectively occupied the third, fourth and fifth positions heading to the final day, but they were leapfrogged by Team Nigeria, courtesy of two gold medals bagged in the Men’s U-15 Foil through Wisdom Okanlawon and Iyanuoluwa Babarinsa in the women’s U-15 Sabre.
Chizoro Nwokocha won silver for Nigeria in the women’s U-15 Épée, just as Iyanuoluwa Babarinsa got bronze in the Men’s U-20 Epee, while Team Nigeria’s men and women got bronze in the team event foil.
In the final classification, Egypt topped with 18 gold, 10 silver and 15 bronze medals, with Algeria finishing second with 2-7-9, while Nigeria came third with 2-3-7.
South Africa, Senegal, Libya, Benin and Ghana, in that order, placed fourth to eighth, while Zimbabwe and Uganda finished with no medal.
“We are delighted to have finished strongly on the final day and the medals won showed much improvement from the last time we hosted in 2018, where we got two bronze medals,” a delighted Nigerian Fencing Federation President, Adeyinka Samuel, said.
International Fencing Federation (FIE) executive member, Novak Perovic, lauded Nigeria for the high standard organisation of the championship.
“Nigeria has met our expectations again like it did in 2018 regarding the organization of this championship and we are happy that the future of Nigerian fencing is very bright. Africa will surely benefit if a sport like fencing in Nigeria develops,” he said.