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Maxine Esteban narrowly misses gold in African Fencing Championships

Fil-Ivorian Maxine Esteban grabbed silver in the 22nd African Fencing Championships individual women’s foil event after falling short in the final against Egypt’s Yara Elsharkawy, 8-9, on Thursday in Morocco.

Esteban, who is bound for the Paris Summer Olympics, earned her second medal as an Ivorian, with the first being a bronze in last year’s edition of the same event.

“Silver in the African Championships 2024! Missed the gold by a point but I’m so grateful for this! God is so gracious,” said Esteban in an Instagram post.

Elsharkawy successfully defended her title in the event. She ranks 22nd in the world, with seven medals to her name at the continental level: two golds, two silvers, and three bronzes.

Esteban dominated her way to the championship round before eventually bowing to the more veteran Elsharkawy.

The 23-year-old Esteban, who ranks 35th in the world, defeated 14-year-old Sara Amr Hossny in the quarterfinals, 15-7, assuring herself of at least a bronze.

However, she aimed for more to surpass her bronze finish last year, trouncing 18-year-old Malak Hamza in the semis, 15-6, catapulting her to the final.

Esteban swept her way to the knockout rounds, going 5-0 in Pool 2, beating Egypt’s Amr Hossny and Noha Hany, Tunisia’s Yasmine Soussi and Nourane B’Chir, and Morocco’s Manal Saraa.

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