Latest newsSport

From Palaces to Paris: How Monaco’s Magic Sent Blitzboks and China to the Olympics

In the presence of Their Serene Highnesses Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco, scenes of euphoria and heartbreak unfolded on Olympic Day at the Stade Louis II, as Olympic dreams were either realized or unfortunately shattered.

It’s the third time in succession that Monaco has held the Rugby 7s Olympic Qualification Tournament, which involved well over a hundred volunteers from all over France.

Passionate rugby aficionados , the royal couple welcomed the 22 captains of this Olympic Qualifying Tournament to the Palace last Thursday on the eve of the tournament. Princess Charlène presented the jerseys to the South African Blitzboks.

Jerseys that inspired South Africa to beat Great Britain 14-5 in a tense men’s final to secure the last men’s qualifying spot for the Paris Olympics. In a match where all points were scored in the first half, the Blitzboks were resolute in defense, withstanding Great Britain’s late assault to book their ticket to Paris.

Canada and Spain missed their chances after falling in the semifinals, but Spain ended the weekend with some pride, winning 31-14 to finish third.

Photo credit: Mike Lee – KLC fotos for World Rugby
Photo credit: Mike Lee – KLC fotos for World Rugby
Photo credit: Mike Lee – KLC fotos for World Rugby
Photo credit: Mike Lee – KLC fotos for World Rugby

Women’s Rugby 7s

China secured the final women’s spot for Paris by defeating Kenya 24-7 in the final, continuing their recent streak of outstanding results. Over an unbeaten weekend, China defeated Paraguay 31-0 and Poland 40-7 on finals day en route to the last dance, with four tries, including a double by Chen Keyi, helping them to victory over Kenya and their 27th consecutive win this season.

Kenya, the only team to have beaten China all season in the HSBC Challenger Series, had advanced past Argentina and the Czech Republic before falling short in the final, while Poland ended their weekend on a high note with a 33-14 bronze medal win over the Czech Republic.

Photo credit: Mike Lee – KLC fotos for World Rugby
Photo credit: Mike Lee – KLC fotos for World Rugby
Photo credit: Mike Lee – KLC fotos for World Rugby

Rugby Sevens Kicks Off the Olympic Games

Rugby sevens is proving to be one of the most anticipated events of Paris 2024, following the resounding success of the Rugby World Cup 2023 in France, and this sport will have the honour of kicking off the Games in Paris on July 24, two days before the opening ceremony. The men’s competition will take place from July 24 to 27, followed by the women’s tournament from July 28 to 30.

In the men’s competition, host nation France is joined by New Zealand, Argentina, Fiji, and Australia, who secured their spots in Paris by finishing in the top four of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023, along with six regional qualifying tournament winners Uruguay (South America), Ireland (Europe), the United States (North America), Kenya (Africa), Samoa (Oceania), and Japan (Asia), as well as South Africa, the repechage winner.

The women’s Olympic competition sees New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, and the United States among the top four qualifiers from the 2023 World Series, alongside host nation France. They are joined by Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, South Africa, Fiji, and Japan as regional qualifying tournament winners and now by China, the repechage champion.

Fijian men have dominated the Olympic competition so far with double gold medals in their debut at Rio 2016 and again in Tokyo five years later. New Zealand are the reigning women’s Olympic champions, and Australia won the first women’s Olympic gold medal in Rio.

Show More
Back to top button