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Team GB Sevens miss out on Olympics as Blitzboks grab final spot

By Ian Cameron
Great Britain players celebrate the win over Spain on day three of the World Rugby Sevens Repechage at Louis II Stadium on 23 June, 2024 in Monaco. Photo credit: Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby

Team Great Britain Men’s Sevens have sensationally missed out on the Olympic Games SVNS after the Blitzboks beat them in the final of the Repechage in Monaco.

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It’s a hammer blow for the Tony Roques coached Team GB, who finished in 4th place at the Olympics in 2020.

China women and South Africa men secured the twelfth and final places in the Olympic Games Paris 2024 rugby sevens competitions with victory at the World Rugby Sevens Repechage in Monaco.

China beat Kenya 24-7 in the women’s final to continue their recent form. South Africa overcame Great Britain 14-5 in a tense men’s final.

The Paris 2024 Olympic pools will be announced on Sunday in a live media event at 20:00 CET. Rugby Sevens will kick off the Olympic Games Paris 2024 in Stade de France on 24 July two days ahead of the Opening Ceremony.

In the presence of Their Serene Highnesses Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco there were scenes of euphoria and heartbreak on Olympic Day at Stade Louis II as Olympic dreams were realised or crushed.

Olympic Sevens SVNS

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South Africa beat Great Britain 14-5 in a tense men’s final to claim the final men’s qualification spot at the Paris Olympics. In a game where all the points were scored in the first half the Blitzboks were resolute in defence holding out a late Great Britain onslaught to book their place on the plane to Paris.

Canada and Spain missed out after falling at the semi-final stage but Spain finished the weekend with some pride as they won 31-14 to finish third.

China clinched the final women’s spot in Paris as they beat Kenya 24-7 in the final to continue their recent run of results. In an unbeaten weekend China beat Paraguay 31-0 and Poland 40-7 on finals day on their way to the last dance with four tries that included a brace from Chen Keyi helping them to victory over Kenya and their 27th win on the bounce this season.

Kenya who are the only side to have beaten China all season in the HSBC Challenger Series had edged past both Argentina and Czechia before falling short in the final while Poland ended their weekend on a high as they won bronze with a 33-14 win over Czechia.

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World Rugby Chief Competitions & Performance Officer Nigel Cass said:

“Congratulations to China women and South Africa men on booking their tickets to the Olympic Games Paris 2024 at the end of an intensely competitive and highly entertaining World Rugby Sevens Repechage event in Monaco.

“Our deep thanks and gratitude to Their Serene Highnesses Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco and the Fédération Monégasque de Rugby for such excellent hosting of this important Olympic qualification event for the third time in succession.

“Rugby sevens is set to bring a party atmosphere to the start of the Olympic Games Paris 2024 with a vibrant and passionate crowd alongside the incredible skill, speed and strength on show on the pitch from some of the most impressive athletes in the world.

“The spotlight will be on rugby sevens like never before as our sport will have the honour to kick off the Olympic Games two days ahead of the Opening Ceremony, and men’s rugby sevens will be the first team sport gold medal of the Games on 27 July. Like the players, teams and fans, we can’t wait for the Games to begin and see rugby sevens take centre stage in Stade de France.”

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