Australia, Kenya men and Fiji women confirm Olympic sevens berths
Australia and Kenya booked their booked their places in the men’s rugby sevens competition at next year’s Olympic Games with contrasting final triumphs at their respective regional qualification tournaments on Sunday.
Top seeds Australia romped to a 50-0 thrashing of Tonga at the Oceania Sevens in Auckland, while Dennis Ombachi scored the winning try after the final buzzer had sounded as Kenya edged Zimbabwe 19-17 in the Africa Sevens decider.
The pair became the 10th and 11th teams to qualify for rugby sevens’ debut in the Summer Games with the remaining berth in the 12-team tournament to be filled by the winners of next June’s final Olympic qualifier, which also features Hong Kong.
Tonga and Samoa, who beat Papua New Guinea in the play-off for third in Auckland, will both be invited to the final qualifier together with Zimbabwe, Tunisia and Morocco who made up the rest of the top four in the African qualifier.Australia produced an emphatic display beating American Samoa 52-0 in the quarter-finals, before dismissing Papua New Guinea 36-0 and then running in 10 tries against Tonga.
They had expected to meet Samoa in the final but Tonga pulled off the upset of the weekend when they beat their Pacific island neighbours 41-5 in the semi-finals.
Powerhouse teams Fiji, South Africa and New Zealand did not take part in their respective regional qualifiers at the weekend as they have already booked their berths in Rio by finishing 1-2-3 in the 2014-15 World Rugby Sevens Series.
In the women’s competition in Auckland, Fiji qualified for Rio when they beat Samoa 55-0.
Reporting: Agence France-Presse, Reuters