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Date: 4/12/2013

From 6 to 11 April, Djibouti organized the Continental Phase of the IHF Trophy for Africa. Seven teams divided into two groups in both men’s and women’s competition competed during the course of a week for a place on the Intercontinental Phase where they will compete against the winners of the other continents.

In the women’s competition, the Democratic Republic of Congo clearly won the tournament after winning in their first matches in the group against Nigeria with 24:13 and Madagascar with 28:16. Claiming the first spot in the group paired them with a match against Senegal in the semi-finals, where they once again proved their dominance and won the match by 29:13. In the final Nigeria was the opponent, and it was the only team during the tournament to provide real resistance to the West African outfit. After a tight first half where the Democratic Republic of Congo was winning by one goal, they managed to keep their lead in the second half and won the competition with the final result 19:18. The importance of the match took its toll, and in the end it was the defences deciding the champion.

In the men’s tournament, the team of Nigeria was luckier than their female peers as they triumphantly celebrated in Djibouti. But they had a not so convincing start of the tournament as they drew their opening group match against Senegal 30:30. However, their amazing performance against host Djibouti when they won 45:19, and against Uganda celebrating a 54:16 victory guaranteed them a spot in the semi-final where they would face Mozambique who suffered only one defeat against Chad in the group phase. Nigeria proved to be the better team and won the match 38:26 (17:10). The final of the men’s competition was a replay of the first round of the group phase when Nigeria and Senegal drew. The first half promised to bring another exciting finish as the Nigerian team was winning by only a two-goal margin. However, in the second half, their attack started working much better, which resulted in a clear 29:21 victory.

The results of the IHF Trophy in Djibouti mean that Nigeria will represent the continent in the men’s competition of the Intercontinental IHF Trophy, while the Democratic Republic of Congo will defend the continent’s honour in the women’s competition. As it is general practice, the IHF organized simultaneous courses for both referees and coaches during the competition. The coaches' course was conducted by Mr Paul Landure (FRA), and the course for referees by Mr Charles Omondi (KEN). CAHB President Dr Mansourou Aremou (BEN) was also present during the competition.