Samoa’s Rugby Sevens team secured a spot at their first Olympics Sunday by beating Papua New Guinea in Oceania qualifying, while Fiji’s women also booked a spot in Paris.
Defending men’s Olympic champions Fiji, along with Tokyo Olympic silver medallists New Zealand had already secured their place at next year’s tournament in France, as had Australia.
They qualified after ranking among the top four teams at the end of the 2023 World Rugby Sevens Series. Argentina also made the grade.
Samoa had come agonisingly close in that series, finishing just a point behind Australia to miss out on an automatic berth.
But they made amends by coming through the three-day Oceania Rugby Sevens at Brisbane’s Ballymore Stadium to dominate PNG 24-0 in the final.
Tokyo Olympic women’s champions New Zealand, as well as Australia, also qualified through the World Rugby Sevens Series, and Fiji have now joined them.
They crushed PNG 54-0 to ensure another crack at gold after winning bronze in Tokyo.
Twenty-four teams — 12 each for men and women — will compete at next year’s Olympics, scheduled for July 24-30 at Stade de France.
The last regional qualifier, from Asia, will be confirmed in Osaka next weekend.
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