The 8th Cadet and Junior African Fencing Championship got underway on Thursday at the Molade Okoya-Thomas Indoor Sports Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos.

Expectedly, the continental powerhouses Algeria and Egypt dominated proceedings and justified their high ratings in the opening day of the five-day tournament.

The North Africans are bound to have a good fight from South Africa, who also enjoyed a wave of victories on the opening day of the tournament.

Nigerian fencers were also in action on Thursday, but they were short of experience compared to their counterparts.

Charles Joshua could not go beyond the final qualification stage losing 15-4 to Ronan Ragavoodoo of Mauritius in the Individual Epee.

It was the same fate for Zaafir Olagunju who fell 15-10 to Ibrahim Ramadan, the third seed from Egypt.

Femi Adeniti also bowed to second-seeded Egyptian, Mohamed El-Sayed 15-2 just as George Noval defeated his fellow South African Dorian Moretti to advance to the final phase of the Epee.

Female fencers will take to the stage on Friday with Semina Daminabo of Nigeria listed for action in the Individual Epee.

Algeria and South Africa will each have four representatives while Cote d’Ivoire have three.

Nigeria Fencing Federation President, Adeyinka Samuel expressed confidence that Nigeria will put up a good fight and win a few medals despite the country’s slow start.

The championship taking place in Lagos serves as an avenue for junior fencers to earn points for the 2018 World Championships in Verona, Italy.

 It will also be used as qualification criteria for the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo, Japan.