The final African taekwondo berths for Tokyo 2020 were decided in Rabat ©World Taekwondo
Egyptian and Moroccan athletes secured two Tokyo 2020 places as the African Taekwondo Olympic Qualification tournament concluded in Rabat.
Eight Olympic berths were available on the final day of the qualifier, with two awarded in four weight categories at the Complexe Sportif Moulay Abdellah.
Morocco’s Nada Laaraj secured a place in the women’s under-57 kilogram competition at Tokyo 2020, after winning both of her bouts in Rabat.
Laaraj began the tournament with a 22-1 win over Senegal’s Yacine Diaw, before easing to a 30-1 win over Ethiopia’s Tsebaot Gosaye.
Niger’s Tekiath Ben secured the second berth on offer by earning a 34-10 win over Nigeria’s Chinazum Nwosu.
Achraf Mahboubi gave Morocco their second Olympic qualifier of the day, after he progressed through the men’s under-80kg competition.
Mahboubi battled to a 14-9 win over Burkina Faso’s Faysal Sawadodgo in the crucial bout to determine the first qualifier.
The second berth in the weight division was claimed by Egypt’s Seif Eissa, following a 3-1 win over Tunisia’s Firas Katousi.
Mali’s Seydou Fofana and Egypt’s Abdelrahman Wael emerged as the qualifiers from the men’s under-68kg event, which had the largest field with 17 entrants.
African Games bronze medallist Fofana earned his Tokyo 2020 berth with a 17-3 victory over Nigeria’s Ifeoluwa Ajayi, while Wael beat Ethiopia’s Tariku Girma.
In the women’s over-76kg division, Ivory Coast’s Aminata Traore claimed a comfortable 16-0 win over Cameroon’s Raulline Soffo to book her place at Tokyo 2020.
The second spot was claimed by Kenya’s Faith Ogallo, who earned a 27-21 win over Chad’s Eldjima Florence.
Continental Olympic qualifiers are set to continue in Amann, Gold Coast, San Jose and Milan.
Jordan’s capital Amann stepped in to host the Asian qualifier, after World Taekwondo moved the event from China due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
By Michael Pavitt