Kenya’s year – In September and November 2015, Africa vibrated for Sevens rugby during the Olympics Qualifiers.
Both tournaments took some unexpected turns and are still delivering their last surprises !
On September 26th and 27th the 10 best women’s teams of Africa were facing each other in Johannesburg : South Africa, Madagascar, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Senegal, Tunisia, Uganda, Namibia and Kenya.
Unsurprisingly though the final match confronted South Africa and Kenya with a final score largely in favor of the South Africans (31-5). This is the result of the development of the women’s game in the land of the Springboks over the last few years, in particular further to their participation in the world circuit – World Rugby Sevens Series – enabling them to play against the best teams in the world.
Nevertheless, the South Africans quickly found themselves in trouble in the circuit and fell at the bottom of the ranking. Their poor performance deprived them of a possible automatic qualification for the Olympic Games, reserved for the four best teams of the series. Their only chance to fly to Rio was thus this regional competition which took place in Johannesburg last September.
Unfortunately as the Olympic Committee of South Africa did not consider them as serious medal contenders, the players were recently denied their boarding passes for Brazil. Indeed, the SASCOC decided that the teams which would qualify themselves for the Olympics via the regional competitions would not be sent to Rio.
They then had no other choice but to give up their ticket to the Kenyans who had finished second in the Qualifiers. The team of Kenya will thus participate in the 2016 Olympics !
This new ranking also means that Madagascar is now the fourth best Sevens African team. Therefore the Malagasy will join Tunisia and Zimbabwe in the repechage taking place in Dublin (Ireland) on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th of June 2016.
Our three African teams will then face 13 other teams coming from all over the world.