Mixed emotions on day seven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as hurdler Abdelmalik Lahoulou and boxer Imane Khelif progressed to the next round in their respective sport, but disappointments for steeplechaser Hichem Bouchicha and Algerian swimming duo Oussama Sahnoune and Amel Melih.
Today marked the first day of the track and field events on day seven of the Olympic Games and up first for Algeria was Hichem Bouchicha in the Men’s 3000m Steeplechase. The Algerian finished 15th and last place with a time of 8:44.75.
Next up in the boxing was Imane Khelif taking on Mariem Homrani from neighbouring country Tunisia. The boxer from Tiaret advanced to the next round after a convincing 5-0 score in the Women’s Light (57-60kg).
22 years old Khelif will now face the 2018 world champion Kelly Annie Harrington from Ireland in the quarter finals.
Some more good news came shortly after as Abdelmalik Lahoulou booked a place for the semi-finals of the Men’s 400m Hurdles. The Algerian hurdler finished in third place with a time of 48.83 just behind Qatari Abderrahman Samba (48.38) and Brazilian Alison Dos Santos (48.42).
Next up was Judoka Sonia Asselah, the Rio2016 Algerian flag bearer, was eliminated by Ukrainian Yelyzaveta Kalanina in the Round of 16 of the +78kg category.
It was a comfortable win for the Ukrainian, currently ranked 15th in the world, after resolving the fight with the Ippon movement.
A very disappointing display for the only Algerian represented in the sport after Fethi Nourine announced his forfeit from the Men’s after seeing that his next opponent was potentially going to be someone from Israel.
The day ended with some more disappointment as swimmers Oussama Sahnoune and Amel Melih were not able to qualify for the next round in the 50m Freestyle.
Sahnoune who failed in the 100m freestyle on day four was unable to improve as he finished today in eighth and last place in the 50m with a time of 22.61, 0.88 behind the winner of the heat. Overall he finished in 37th place out of 73. Only the top 16 swimmers with the quickest times qualify for the semi-finals.
It was a similar outcome for Melih, she too failed in the 100m on day four, and despite finishing today the race in fourth place with a time of 25.77 she was unable to qualify for the next round as overall she finished in 35th place out of 81 participants.
The main event to keep an eye out for tomorrow is in the Men’s Fly (48-52kg) as the experienced Mohamed Flissi looks to end his career in style by aiming for a medal but first he will need to take on Carlo Paalam, to seize a place in the quarter-final.
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