The U-23 Africa Cup of Nations in Dakar served both as the continental age group championship, as well as the African Olympic qualifiers. In the end, finalists Nigeria and Algeria, as well as third-place South Africa all earned Olympic tickets. In the title match, Nigeria defeated the Algerians 2-1 for their first tournament championship (although, this was only the second-ever held) and will enter Rio next year as African best. While they have competed at the Games six times - with gold in 1996 and bronze in 2008, they did miss 2012. On the other end of the spectrum, both Algeria and South Africa have only competed in the Olympics once before. But South Africa has not confirmed their berth acceptance this time around. Despite qualification, and as in other sports, South Africa's Olympic Committee has seen strict home qualification standards and questioned use of continental qualifiers as a means in. Will they be in Rio??
The host Argentines won their first World League title in hockey at the conclusion of the final eight-team tournament in Rosario. Defeating New Zealand 5-1 in the final, Argentina must certainly enter the Olympic Games as definitely one of the top favorites. Ranked third in the world currently, they hold now the World League title in addition to the 2014 Champions Trophy, the 2014 South American title, and a record of four straight medals in the Games, although none gold. Will 2016 be their year?
The town of Hyeres in France hosted the European Cross-Country Championships this weekend, and while Great Britain emerged on top the medal table, with nine overall across men's, women's and juniors events, a highlight overall certainly was the diversity of titleists - six different nations won the six individual titles on offer. The men's senior title went to Turkey's Kaya Ali, while the Netherlands' Siffan Hassan won the women's. In all, 12 nations won at least one medal.