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Korea Qualifies For Olympics; Only Repechages Remain

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Korea Qualifies For Olympics; Only Repechages Remain

The South Korean team celebrates its dramatic victory in Incheon. World Rugby photo.

We are down to 21 spots filled for the Rugby 7s ent at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

South Korea's men's team defeated Hong Kong 12-7 in the final of the Asia Rugby Men’s Olympic qualifier this weekend. The game ended 7-7 and went into sudden death overtime. On defense, Korea, managed to force a penalty near their own tryline, and then tapped and went the length of the field, with Seongmin Jang going over for the game-winner. The home crowd at Namdong Asiad Stadium in Incheon went wild.

Watch The Next Stage Of The Olympic Chase At The LA 7s—Tickets On Sale Now

"The last try was amazing, it means so much to us," said Korea captain Park Wanyong. "We give the fans an Olympic opportunity and this is for the fans."

Hong Kong's Olympic journey isn't over, as the team gets another shot in the Repechage. China beat the Philippines 19-14 in the 3rd-4th game and also will get to play in the Repechage.

So now we are done with the regional qualifiers as well as the automatic qualifiers. Here's who will compete in Tokyo 2020:

Men: 

Host Team: Japan

Top 4 In 2018-19 World Series: Fiji, USA, New Zealand, South Africa

Regional Qualifiers: Argentina, Canada, Great Britain, Kenya, Australia, South Korea

Who's left? The Repechage tournament will be held in June, 2020, with the following teams involved: Uganda, Zimbabwe, China, Hong Kong, France, Ireland, Jamaica, Mexico, Samoa, Tonga, Brazil, and Chile.

Samoa is the favorite, but France, Ireland, or event Brazil or Chile could shake things up.

Women:

Host Team: Japan

Top 4 in 2018-19 World Series: New Zealand, USA, Canada, Australia

Regional Qualifiers: Brazil, Great Britain, Fiji, Kenya

South Africa won the African qualifier but declined the place in the Olympics because the South Africa Olympic Committee has a policy of not accepting an Olympic berth if it has only been awarded through winning an Africa-only qualification process. This is hugely unfortunate because the African qualifer in women's rugby isn't any weaker than any other region except Europe.

Who's left? Because both the USA and Canada qualified through the World Series, the top teams from the Rugby Americas North tournament go straight to the repechage. The region is not strong enough to have its #3 team go straight to the Olympics.

So the Repechage tournament in June, 2020 will include: Madagascar, Tunisia, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, France, Russia, Jamaica, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Argentina, Colombia

Oddly, Spain, which won both repechage tournaments in 2016, won't be involved, which is a sad reflection on the reduction of funding in the program. Russia and France have to be favored here.

 

The Repechage will be held June 20-21 in Biarritz, France.

Rugby sevens will take place at the Tokyo Stadium at next year’s Olympic Games where it will make its second appearance at the Olympic Games following its debut at Rio 2016. The men’s sessions will be played July 27-29 July with the women’s being held July 31-August 1.

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