Cote d’Ivoire and Chad to shoot for Olympic tickets to Paris 2024

Cote D'Ivoire recurve mixed team

Recurve mixed teams from Cote d’Ivoire and Chad will shoot for Olympic spots during Sunday’s finals at the 2023 African Archery Championships in Nabeul, Tunisia.

The Cote d’Ivoire team of Franck Eyeni and Esmei Diombo overcame top seeds Egypt in a three-set semifinal, 5-1, while Chad upset the hosts, who qualified second, to book a final berth.

Egypt’s bronze – another shoot-off loss for Tunisia – will be little consolation.

Two Olympic quota places – one men’s and one women’s place for the same country – for Paris 2024 are the prize for the winner of the mixed team competition at these African Championships.

Diombo didn't mince her words: We’re coming to demolish everything, so get ready for us.

It’s very important, qualifying for the Olympics. We’re not going to have any fun. We really do have what it takes to win the gold medal. It really wasn’t easy, but we hung in there. 

We want the gold, so we worked harder to get to the final.

Cote d’Ivoire has never sent more than one archer to the Games. Chad, meanwhile, had its first archery Olympian at Tokyo 2020 – Marlyse Hourtou – via a universality invitation. 

Chadian mixed team

So, on Sunday, Israel Madaye and Martine Abaifouta Hallas Maria have a chance to become the first archers to qualify Chad to the Olympics.

They’ve already beaten Sierra Leone and Algeria – before that surprise shoot-off win against Tunisia.

Congratulations first of all to Maria, because I have to say if she wasn’t there, I don't think we'd have made it. She deserves to go all the way to Paris,” said Madaye, a resident archer at the World Archery Excellence Centre in Lausanne, crediting his partner.

If we were able to beat Algeria or Tunisia, I think we can do even better with the help of our coaches and all our team members. Frankly, we’d still like to give it our best shot.

“It’s all about winning gold and qualifying for Paris 2024. In archery, it’s possible. Anything is possible.

A further two recurve men’s and two recurve women’s spots are available in the individual events.

Competition continues in Tunisia with eliminations on Saturday before the Olympic places are decided in Sunday’s finals.

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