Chad wins tickets to Paris 2024 Olympics at African Championships

Chad mixed team

Chad has secured two quota places for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games after its recurve mixed team of Martine Abaifouta Hallas Maria and Israel Madaye were crowned African Champion by beating Cote d’Ivoire in the gold medal match at the 2023 African Archery Championships in Nabeul.

Chad took the first two sets against a wobbly Esmei Diombo and Franck Eyeni, only to fall away in the next two as the Ivorian pair limited their errors, sending the match to a shoot-off.

Chad found a 10 and an eight. It was enough to win – and there were tears on both sides of the stage afterwards – some in celebration, some in defeat.

“The shoot-off is something we’ve been working on,” said Madaye. “We’ve worked on it over and over again and I wondered if I’ll ever use it. It’s not easy, but that’s what’s important. You have the confidence of your form, not the competition. We're making progress.”

“This wasn’t just four arrows. There were two places for Paris. That’s all there is to it. That’s it for me.”

This is the first time Chad has won spots for the Olympics.

The places were the last of six to be awarded at the championships, with the other four going to the top individual finishers. The nations were already decided yesterday – but not officially confirmed until the recurve finals were complete today.

Tunisia qualified

The Olympic pressure off, the individual finals were more relaxed affairs.

Youssof Tolba and Jana Ali were crowned African Champions, officially securing the two Paris quotas for Egypt, alongside men’s runner-up Werner Potgieter of South Africa and women’s bronze medallist Rihab Elwalid.

In windy conditions, Egypt also won both men’s and women’s recurve team matches.

(Both squads were top seeds here in Nabeul.)

Werner Potgieter had a chance to upset the Egyptian stranglehold on the recurve events, having shown remarkable consistency and mental strength to win the quota spot for South Africa while working his way through the bracket, but a brief loss of his process in the first end of the final saw him shoot a miss.

He never quite recovered, and Tolba shot consistent 26s to put the match away, 7-1. 

Namibia also left Nabeul with two gold medals, courtesy of Jacqueline Coetzee taking compound gold and veteran Lutz Wahlers taking barebow gold.

Chad’s Paris-bound archers will follow in the footsteps of Marlyse Hourtou, who made an impression in the nation’s archery debut at Tokyo 2020 after receiving a universality ticket.

With the sport continuing to develop in Africa – and hopefully returning to the African Games soon – this tight continental competition was another large step forward on the road to Paris… and beyond.

Champions: Nabeul 2023

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