2 Apr 2019

Sport: Fiji to host Olympic 7s regional qualifier

7:27 am on 2 April 2019

Fiji will host the men's and women's Oceania Regional Qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sevens Competitions.

The top four placed teams in the current men's and women's World Series will earn automatic Olympic qualification, joining hosts Japan in the final draw in July next year at Ajinomoto Stadium.

New Zealand and Fiji are currently 2nd and 3rd respectively in the men's series standings, while New Zealand and Australia are ranked 1st and 4th in the women's competition.

Fiji Sevens win gold in Rio. The first ever olympic medal for the country and the first Gold medal for the whole of the Pacific region.

Fiji won sevens gold in Rio. Photo: AFP

The top ranked teams at November's Oceania men's and women's Sevens Championships in Suva that are yet to qualify for Tokyo will also secure their tickets to Japan, with equivalent competitions being held in Asia, Africa, Europe, South and North America.

The final opportunity for Olympic qualification will be at the men's and women's World Rugby Olympic Repechage tournament in the first half of 2020, which will feature 12 women's and 12 men's teams, with the second and third team in each regional competition invited to participate.

Four years ago the Australian men and Fiji women qualified for the Rio Olympics by winning the 2015 Oceania Sevens Championships.

Samoa were subsequently beaten by Spain in the men's repechage final in 2016, while the Manu Sina women's team were eliminated in the quarter finals by Kazakhstan.

Samoa captain Faalemiga Selesele can't stop Ignacio Martin from crossing for the winning try.

Samoa were beaten in the men's Repechage final in 2016. Photo: World Rugby / Martin Seras Lima

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: "Since the outstanding success of Rio 2016 we have seen sevens grow both on and off the pitch, with the men's and women's world series becoming more competitive and the sport attracting new global audiences".

"This year is an important and exciting one for teams as they compete to secure their ticket to Tokyo 2020, we look forward to following the regional qualification tournaments from June onwards as rugby sevens continues its Olympic journey."