Africa forges ahead at local rowing championships
Alexandria, Egypt was the venue for the 8th African Rowing Championships and rowers from nine countries competed.
The standout athlete was Amina Rouba of Algeria. Rouba picked up three gold medals from racing in the lightweight women’s single sculls, lightweight women’s double sculls and women’s double sculls. Rouba, 26, was Algeria’s sole rower at the London Olympic Games where she competed in the women’s single sculls finishing 26th.
The women’s single sculls was won by Zimbabwe’s Micheen Thornycroft with Rouba finishing second in this event. Rouba, however, had the upper hand in the women’s double where Thornycroft with partner Eliza Fraser MacKenzie, finished second to the Algerians. Rouba raced with her lightweight doubles partner, Nawel Chiali.
“The technical level of the competition was good,” says Tunisia’s national technical director Faycal Soula who added that the major competition was between Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia and Zimbabwe.
At the close of racing in the 16 events – six of them junior races – Egypt was at the top of the medals table with nine gold medals. Nour El Din Younes won two golds for Egypt, in the men’s single sculls and the men’s double sculls. Algeria was second overall, helped predominantly by Rouba’s three gold medals. Zimbabwe finished third with medals from Thornycroft and also their junior sculler, Murray Faber who won two gold medals – the junior men’s single sculls and junior men’s double sculls with Peter Percell-Gilpin.
Leading up to the African Rowing Championships a course was organised. As part of FISA’s development programme and in collaboration with Olympic Solidarity eight African nations were invited to send one rower each. All of the athletes attending the course also competed in the African Rowing Championships. This is one step towards these rowers aiming to participate in either the 2014 Youth Olympic Games or the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.