Rio 2016 – Rio de Janeiro gets closer… Only 32 days before the kick-off of the Olympics ! After more than 90 years of absence, rugby makes its big return at the Olympic Games to the delight of all the rugby aficionados ! Sevens rugby will for sure grow in popularity after such strong international exposure and particularly in Africa where it is already growing really quickly !
The number of women’s and men’s teams playing sevens rugby on our continent is evolving rapidly, more than 1000 teams this year. Already 3 African teams will take part in the Olympics. This is will be a fantastic opportunity for Africa to showcase the best we have to offer :
SOUTH AFRICA & KENYA (Men)
As a reminder, South Africa qualified for the Olympics by ending in the top 4 teams of the World Rugby Sevens Series. Kenya qualified through the regional qualifiers organized in Johannesburg in November, 2015. Same process for the women, the Kenyans qualified through the regional tournament ; they came second after the final against South Africa but received a second chance when South African had to cancel their journey to Rio.
In Monaco and in Dublin, the international repechage gave a new opportunity to Morocco, Tunisia and Zimbabwe for the men ; Madagascar, Tunisia and Zimbabwe for the women. Finally, in spite of very good results for our African teams, both Spanish men and women’s teams grabbed the last tickets for Rio.
For the women, after a beautiful first day marked by two victories in three matches, Tunisia finally lost 38-0 against Ireland in the quarterfinal of the Cup. Then they narrowly lost again in front of Argentina in semi-final of the match for the 5th position 17-7.
POOLS FOR RIO :
Women’s – 6-8 August (seeding in brackets)
Pool A: Australia (one), USA (six), Fiji (seven), Colombia (12)
Pool B: New Zealand (two), France (five), Spain (eight), Kenya (11)
Pool C: Canada (three), Great Britain (four), Brazil (nine), Japan (10)
Men’s – 9-11 August (seeding in brackets)
Pool A: Fiji (one), USA (six), Argentina (seven), Brazil (12)
Pool B: South Africa (two), Australia (five), France (eight), Spain (11)
Pool C: New Zealand (three), Great Britain (four), Kenya (nine), Japan (10)