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Injured Black Ferns Sevens star Shiray Kaka reveals ‘Olympic dream is over’

By Finn Morton
Shiray Kaka of New Zealand scores a try during day 3 of the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 Match 23 Championship Semi Finals between New Zealand and France at DHL Stadium on September 11, 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo ImagesGetty Images)

Black Ferns Sevens ace Shiray Kaka has confirmed in an emotional video that her Paris Olympics dream is over after she suffered a devastating knee injury in Singapore last weekend.

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Kaka, who helped New Zealand win a gold medal at the postponed Tokyo Games, was seen crying on the field after her teammates secured the Series League title with a win over Australia.

Earlier in the SVNS tournament at Singapore’s National Stadium, Kaka had been carried off the field with what looked like a significant leg injury during the quarter-final win over Great Britain.

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Coach Cory Sweeney told RugbyPass the next day that the team were still waiting on scans to determine the severity of Kaka’s injury, while the team had also lost Tyla King for the weekend.

While Kaka was all smiles every time the broadcast camera panned to her and King on Sunday, the tears the SVNS veteran shed after New Zealand’s 31-21 Cup final win suggested the worst.

 

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A post shared by Shiray Kaka #22 (@shiray_9)

After returning to New Zealand, Kaka took to social media to share the devastating update that the upcoming Paris Games just weren’t meant to be.

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“Thought it was time to let you guys know, my Olympic dream is over,” Kaka wrote on Instagram. “Apparently 3 surgeries wasn’t enough, God thought I needed one more.

“Really thought it was finally my time to show the world what I could do. After all the trainings, all the set backs, all the missed family events… the Olympics was going to make it all worth it. But it just wasn’t meant to be.

“Still got so much to be thankful for… my family, my animals, my mates and my BUTTER!

“Life goes on, rugby goes on – and so will I! So please keep supporting me, I’m gonna need it in the healing phase of the injury! Who knows – might be time for @gillies.kaka and I to start our YouTube channel!

“But anyway, thank you for believing in me everyone, it mean the world to me!!!!”

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At the time of writing, there hasn’t been an update from New Zealand Sevens about the injury status of reigning World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year, Tyla King, before SVNS Madrid.

Madrid’s Estadio Metropolitano, which is the home of Spanish football giants Atletico Madrid, will host the inaugural SVNS Series Grand Final from May 31 to June 2.

King was ruled out of the final day at SVNS Singapore with swelling around her ankle, but it’s unclear as to whether that injury will rule the dual international out of the Grand Final.

But New Zealand, to their credit, showed depth and resilience in Singapore as they rallied to take out the Cup final and secure the League title without two of their more established players.

“We’ve got two special people that our ladies witnessed go down yesterday and that’s always hard to watch. There’s always an emotional connection to that straightaway,” coach Corey Sweney told RugbyPass in Singapore.

“The girls, they showed up today and showed up for those two that got injured and took their opportunity as well.

“That’s what we really ask of this team and they did a good job.”

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