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Egypt book World Cup berth with African Championship triumph

Egypt celebrate their win at the Men's African Nations Championship and will now travel to Japan for the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Cup 2011
Tangier, Morocco, September 29, 2011 – Egypt clinched their sixth Men’s African Nations Championship and a spot at the 2011 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup after a thrilling 3-1 (20-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-22) victory over Cameroon in the final in Tangier, Morocco on Thursday. 

Egypt will now travel to Japan from November 20 to December 4 with the aim of sealing a top three spot at the World Cup and a place at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Cameroon did have a narrow chance at making the tournament as one of the best runners-up, but they were denied as Iran picked up the Asian Men’s Championship with a win over China, sending both Asian sides through.

It was the fourth time in a row that Egypt have taken the title, but they are still second to Tunisia in the number of championship won, the latter taking eight trophies in total.

Tunisia returned back to podium after missing out two years ago as they outlasted Algeria 3-1 (28-26, 19-25, 25-18, 25-22) in the bronze medal match.
The final was attended by Tangier Governor Hassar, CAVB president Dr Amr Elwani, Morocco Volleyball Federation president Abdelhadi Ghzali, Local organizing committee president Lahcene Chater, CAVB vice-president Majore Timba and board members Mory Keita and Hassan Ahmed.

Egypt v Cameroon
Defending champions Egypt made sure they kept their names etched into the trophy as they downed a struggling Cameroon team 3-1 (20-25, 25-28, 25-20, 25-22) in a fantastic final in front of 3,000 Moroccan fans.

Cameroon started the match as the better through the spikes of Jean Ndaki and Didier Sali to take an early lead before Egyptian errors in reception and service allowed the enigmatic Cameroonians to take the set, despite an attempted fight back from Ahmed Salah and Abdalla Abdel Salam.

The second set began well for Egypt and although Cameroon came back through the quick attacks of Zamgum Nongny and Sem Dolegombai to lead narrowly at 16-15, Mohamed Abdel Moneim and Saleh Fathy started working with combinations from setter Abdalla to win the set.

Egypt continued their serving dominance in the third set while Cameroon made an number of substitutions which unsettled the team as they went behind for the first time in the match.

Cameroon turned a corner in the fourth however, and led at the first TTO through attacks from big gun Ndaki. But quick Egyptian attacks through centres Abdel Latif Osman and Rashad Shebl saw the defending champions pick up a memorable victory.

“We didn’t expect such big support from the Moroccan spectators who made us feel as if we were playing at home,” Egypt coach Sherif El Shemerly said.

“I’m very happy to achieve my first title with the senior national team after a lot of achievements with the youth and junior teams and now we are looking forward to representing Africa at the World Cup,” he added “I’m happy with the performance of all my players because most of them applied the strategy against a strong team like Cameroon.”

Bronze Medal Match
Tunisia v Algeria
Tunisia maintained their composure throughout a hearty battle against Algeria to seal the bronze medal and return to the podium for the first time since 2007.

The match started well, with not much between the teams, Algeria having the upper hand at 8-7 at the first TTO. Algerian opposite attacker Taoufik Mahdjoubi was prominent in his powerful attacks while his Tunisian counterpart Hichem Kaabi did an equally solid job as the score remained tight. It was only very late on that Tunisia found a gap to edge the set.

Algeria, spurred on by a frustrating loss in the first set, came roaring out in the second and were dominant throughout. The Tunisian team tried to come back through experienced spikers Nooreddine Hfaied and Hamza Nagga, but were held back constantly as Algeria drew even at 1-1.
The side started well again in the third, leading up until 5-5, but Tunisia emerged through the spikes of Kaabi and Ismail Moalla to lead 16-11 before going on to win the set.

The fourth set saw Algeria fall further behind, and despite captain Ali Kerboua returning to the court, it wasn’t to be as Nagga and Moalla put through a number of fast attacks to wrap the match up for Tunisia.

Individual Awards
• Best Setter: Abdalla Abdel Salam (EGY)
• Beast Libero: Rafik Djoudi (ALG)
• Best Digger: Anwer Taouerghi (TUN)
• Best Blocker: Sem Dolegombi (CMR)
• Best Server: Ahmed Salah (EGY)
• Best Spiker: Jean Ndaki (CMR)
• Most Valuable Player MVP: Ahmed Salah (EGY)
Final Results
Cameroon v Egypt (20-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-22) 
Bronze medal:
Tunisia v Algeria 3-1 (28-26, 19-25, 25-18, 25-22)
5-6 places:
Congo Brazzaville v Morocco 3-1 (25-23, 25-22, 18-25, 25-21)
7-8 places:
South Africa v Botswana 3-1 (25-23, 25-22, 21-25, 26-24)

Final ranking
1. Egypt
2. Cameroon
3. Tunisia
4. Algeria
5. Congo Brazzaville
6. Morocco
7. South Africa
8. Botswana


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