Mustapha Berraf led the Algerian Olympic Committee Ordinary General Assembly ©COA

The Algerian Olympic Committee (COA) awarded its top accolade to four athletes at its Ordinary General Assembly.

Three judokas – Soraya Haddad, Ammar Benikhlef and the late Mustapha Mabed – were among the quartet honoured with the Medal of the Order of Algerian Olympic and Sports Merit.

Haddad and Benikhlef were Algeria's only medallists at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, winning women's 52 kilograms bronze and men's 90kg silver, respectively.

Mabed, who died last year following a long illness, was considered an expert of the sport and was President of the El Harrach judo club.

His medal was accepted by members of his family.

Ali Fergani, the former captain of the Algerian men's football team who also enjoyed two spells as manager of his country, was the fourth athlete to receive the medal.

"Through this distinction, which has become a tradition for the COA, we pay tribute to Algerian sports players who have represented Algeria in sporting events and contributed to the development of sport in a general way," said COA President Mustapha Berraf, who also leads the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa.

Other business at the General Assembly saw two new members inducted to the COA – Seoul 1988 tennis Olympian Warda Bouchabou and sports journalist Wahiba Belhoua.

The membership of the Algerian Federation of Kung-fu/Wushu was also approved while financial reports and the programme of activities for the coming months were approved.

Soraya Haddad was one of three judokas awarded with the COA's top accolade ©Getty Images
Soraya Haddad was one of three judokas awarded with the COA's top accolade ©Getty Images

Berraf, who has been proposed for International Olympic Committee membership, was joined by Algerian Sports Minister Abderaouf Bernaoui at the General Assembly, as well as Air Algeria chief executive Bakhouche Alleche and several other sporting personalities.

Bernaoui is a former Olympic fencer who competed at Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004.

"The COA and the Ministry of Youth and Sports which is now headed by a former Olympian, Abderaouf Salim Bernaoui, will provide the means to allow our athletes to prepare in the best conditions to approach the next competitions with ambitions much more important than in the past," said Berraf.

"The main objective must remain the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. 

"For this we must roll up our sleeves and get down to work to put our athletes in the best condition."

Algeria won two silver medals at Rio 2016 with Taoufik Makhloufi finishing second in both the men's 800 metres and 1,500m.

As well as Tokyo 2020, the country is preparing for the African Games in Moroccan cities Rabat and Marrakesh in August.