Tokyo 2020: Olympics loom large for Hong Kong rugby sevens teams after Japan given unfastened skip

Tokyo appears tons nearer on the horizon for Hong Kong’s rugby players after World Rugby introduced the good news approximately the 2020 Olympic Games qualification system. Japan, as hosts, were usually going to gain from automated qualification for the Summer Games rugby sevens occasion from July 27 to August 1 at the Tokyo Stadium – which could ease the course for their biggest rivals in Asia, Hong Kong, to earn their location in the Olympics. And all it wanted to be turned into reliable confirmation, which came on Monday night time while World Rugby introduced venues for the continental qualifying tournaments. Robbie McRobbie, the chief government of the Hong Kong Rugby Union, became overjoyed however insisted Hong Kong were always a few of the favorites to qualify for the Olympics after triumphing Asian Games
gold in Jakarta last year, when they beat Japan inside the final.

Olympics loom large

“Even if Japan were inside the blend, after the Asian Games gold medal, we might still experience we have been in with a shout,” McRobbie informed the South China Morning Post. “Now, with Japan having computerized qualification, it definitely opens matters up for each the men and the girls.” The rugby sevens opposition at the Tokyo Games will function 12 guys and 12 ladies teams. The pinnacle 4 guys’ and lady’s teams after this yr’s HSBC World Sevens Series will qualify for the Olympics.

The final 8 locations will be filled thru qualifiers. The six regional competitions for women and men between June and November this 12 months will generate six qualifiers every, with the opposite teams having a 2d alternate to qualify for the two remaining berths through a repechage. Hong Kong’s guys will participate in the Asian qualifying in Incheon, South Korea, from November 23-24, while the women’s qualifier is in Guangzhou, China, from November 9-10. Hong Kong’s women will face stiff competition from hosts China, a central group on the World Series but would possibly want to undergo qualifiers if they want to play in Tokyo.

McRobbie stated that the Asian Games and Olympics stay the primary targets for Hong Kong’s sevens groups, part of the Hong Kong Sports Institute set-up. “Particularly inside the Sports Institute, the two pinnacles that we purpose for are the Asian Games and the Olympics, and we’re very proud that in the Asian Games we are the first crew-handiest recreation to win a gold medal [for Hong Kong],” said McRobbie. “So, absolutely what is now the following herbal target is a qualification for the Olympics and to look how a long way we can go together with that. “Hopefully, it might be a big milestone for us and additionally for team sports in Hong Kong to illustrate that group sports activities can compete at that highest level.”

Fiji is protecting men’s Olympic champions, and Australia is girls’ gold medallists after rugby sevens made its Olympic debut in Rio in 2016. Fiji lies 0.33 in the 2018/19 World Series on a hundred and one points after six tournaments, with the United States main the manner on 113 factors and New Zealand (106) 2nd. South Africa occupies the very last Olympic spot on 89 points, with England nine points at the back of in fifth. Hong Kong is the 7th stop on the 10-leg circuit and is accompanied by tournaments in Singapore, London, and Paris.

Randy Montgomery

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