Cameroon’s Hubert Noah Essombo and Gregory Tchami-Djomaha claimed victory in the final of the African Beach Teqball Cup on the island of Sal in Cape Verde on Tuesday in a doubles tournament as part of the first ever African Beach Games.
The tournament featured teams from 14 African nations and was a demonstration event to showcase the emerging sport of teqball following the recent announcement from ANOCA (Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa) that is has collectively agreed to recognise teqball as an official sport.
FITEQ (Fédération Internationale de Teqball) President and Teqball Co-Founder, Gábor Borsányi said, “It gives me great pleasure to know that the sport of teqball is growing here in Africa. This is a historic moment for us to be recognised by ANOCA and introduce teqball at the very first African Beach Games and we would like to thank the people of Africa for embracing our sport and our dream of using teqball to help unite athletes and countries through sport.”
The Cameroon duo beat Nigerian pair Thankgod Adindu and Emmanuel Nwabueze 20-10 in front of a packed crowd at Arena 2 in the Santa Maria Beach Park.
In between the action, Portuguese football legend and teqball ambassador Simão Sabrosa and top women’s teqball player Natalia Guitler of Brazil played in an all-star match. Juventus football star Douglas Costa later paired up with Guitler to represent the special guest nation, Brazil.
Speaking at the official press conference, Sabrosa said, “It’s great to be here in Cape Verde, that is like a brother country to my home Portugal and to play teqball, a sport I have played for five years now. In that time I’ve seen the sport grow and the best thing for me is to see young people playing it now from an early age. We can see professional players from Brazil, France, UK, Spain and Portugal using teqball to become better on the field.”
Sabrosa said Benfica and fellow Portugal player João Félix, recently linked with a transfer to Athletico Madrid, has been known to play teqball after coming off the football pitch, playing up to 90 minutes at a time, something Sabrosa said he believes has helped him to become a better player.
FITEQ (Fédération Internationale de Teqball) Vice-President and Teqball Co-Founder, Viktor Huszár announced at the press conference that they would dedicate significant resources to countries in Africa to help local players work towards competing at more international teqball events. He said FITEQ would donate 54 teqball tables to national Oympic centres to reach around 11 million children throughout Africa.
FITEQ (Fédération Internationale de Teqball) Vice-President and Teqball Co-Founder, Gyuri Gattyán said, “We would like to create value with teqball everywhere in the world and provide opportunities for young people through our sport. It is our belief that sport has the power to create positive change and to inspire young people to achieve in life. We are excited to be here in Cape Verde and hope it is the start of a long friendship between teqball and the people of Africa.”
The inaugural African Beach Games featured 11 different sports, with a total of 30 medals contested by around 800 athletes representing the National Olympic Committees of Africa. Teqball’s inclusion as an illustration sport means it was not included in the overall medal tally, but the tournament was an official part of the Fédération Internationale de Teqball (FITEQ) calendar.