By Caoilte de Barra
The final day of the 2022 IMMAF Africa Championships is in the books as the competition comes to a close. The action began at 11 am (UTC+2) local time. Eleven new champions were crowned in the EFC performance Institute as only two bouts saw the judges’ scorecards over the day.
The women’s flyweight division opened up the day with Nicole Van Wyk finishing her teammate Bianca Stander in the first round. South Africa’s dominance in the women’s division continued as Mischka Laubscher and Kiara Fegen added more gold. Both women continued the trend of first-round finishes, each of them securing a submission victory.
In the men’s bantamweight final, Angola picked up their first IMMAF gold medal through Maurio Silva. He landed a clean left hook to send South Africa’s Nathanial Komana to the mat, and the referee stepped in to call a halt to the match-up.
Namibia also picked up their first IMMAF gold medal through Veja Hinda. The featherweight standout has been in fine form throughout the tournament, winning three fights in as many days, all coming via finish. After scoring a highlight-reel KO in the semi-finals, he showed that he’s not just a striker, submitting South Africa’s Vermaak with a sweet armbar just after one minute of the second round.
At lightweight, Zimbabwe’s Lewis Mataya continued to assert his dominance over the division. His route to gold includes wins over South Africa, Namibia and Zambia. His final bout saw him put on a stellar performance against Zambia’s Ken Nyaondo for three rounds to take the judges’ decision.
Angola went on a late surge of collecting gold medals as they looked to end the day on a high. Wins from Osvaldo Benedito, Elisio Zua and Stanislau Kakesse Wezy saw them level South Africa’s gold medal count heading into the final bout.
Angola’s Juliao Sandambi and South Africa’s Andile Madlala battled it out in the sole heavyweight bout of the competition. Sandambi had the advantage in round one. His boxing was the difference as he mixed up his shots nicely to keep his opponent guessing.
Round two was a whole different tale. Madlala put on a Muay Thai clinch clinic. A constant barrage of knees to the body for the majority of the round was enough to wear down Sandambi to a point where it forced him to concede defeat at the end of the round. Meaning South Africa clinched gold and topped the medal table.
Upon the conclusion of the action, the medal ceremony took place to see out the competition. Every nation took home at least one medal. The three-day event was the first closed tournament on the continent where some of the best talents from across Africa were on show. The full set of results from the 2022 IMMAF Africa Championships can be found here and a full list of medalists can be found here.