Home favourite Faicel Jaballah lived up to his position as top seed in the men’s heavyweight over-100 kilograms class at the opening day of the African Judo Championships in Tunis.
Jaballah, World Championship World bronze medallist in 2013 and twice a winner at these Championships previously, defeated Senegal’s Mbagnick Ndiaye to raise the roof in the Palais sportif el Menzah Tunisia.
There was a second gold on the day for the hosts as Nihel Cheikh Rouhou also justified her top billing in the women’s over-78kg class.
Rouhou, highest ranked of the home top seeds at 21 in the world rankings, saw off the challenge of Algeria’s Sonia Asselah.
Bronze medals went to Senegal’s Monica Sagna and Hortence Mballa Atanangana of Cameroon, with the bronzes in the men’s over 100kg going to Mohammed Tayeb of Algeria and Morocco’s Mustapha Aballaoui.
Algeria matched Tunisia’s opening flourish as they claimed two gold medals through Kaouthar Ouallal in the women’s under-78kg class, and Abderrahmane Benamadi in the men’s under-90kg category.
Ouallal defeated Tunisia’s Sarra Mzougi in the final, with bronze medals going to South Africa’s Unelle Snyman and Alaa Hamed of Egypt.
Egypt claimed gold too as Ramadan Darwish came through to win a tough final against Algeria’s Lyes Bouyacoub in the men’s under-100kg final, with bronze medals being earned by Bouyacoub’s compatriot Billel Belhimer and home judoka Anis Ben Khaled.
The women’s under-70kg class saw victory for Morocco’s Rio 2016 Olympian Assmaa Niang, the highest ranked judoka in the Championships at seven in the world listings.
The 35-year-old, winner of last month’s International Judo Federation Grand Prix in Agadir, found her way to the podium top once again after her women’s under-70kg final against Algeria’s Souad Bellakehal.
The bronze medals went to Tunisia’s Nihel Bouchoucha and Karene Agono Wora of Gabon.