A hard-fought victory over Australia at the Langford Sevens in Canada this morning has confirmed the Black Ferns Sevens as the first team to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The reigning World Cup and Commonwealth Games champions bounced back from their first loss of the season and a disappointing fifth-place finish in Kitakyushu in Japan last month to go unbeaten at the Langford Sevens.
New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew congratulated the team on their efforts this season and in confirming their spot in Tokyo.
“Olympic qualification was the big goal for the Black Ferns Sevens this season and its great to see that Olympic spot confirmed. I am sure the focus now will turn to claiming that Series title in France next month and we are looking forward to them ending the season on a high,” said Tew.
Black Ferns Sevens Captain Sarah Hirini said the win in Canada was the result of a lot of hard work and the team are thrilled to have locked in their place at next year’s Olympics.
“We are really excited and proud to have secured Olympic qualification. We have a big squad of players that have been working really hard to achieve this so for it to be confirmed here in Canada is amazing,” said Hirini.
The Black Ferns Sevens overcame Russia, China and England in pool play on day one. After their quarterfinal victory over Spain, a semifinal win over USA set up a trans-Tasman Final against traditional rivals Australia for the second year in a row. It is the fourth time the Black Ferns Sevens have won the Canada tournament.
Black Ferns Sevens boot Tyla Nathan-Wong was instrumental in the Final, scoring one try and converting all three tries which proved the difference in the 21-17 score line. Her performance saw her named Player of the Final.
One tournament remains to round out the 2018/2019 season with teams traveling to France next month for the Biarritz Sevens.
Winning four of five tournament this season, the Black Ferns Sevens had done enough to qualify for the Olympics after beating Spain in the quarterfinal early this morning. They currently sit atop the World Series standings with 92 points, 12 ahead of USA in second.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will take place in July and August next year. Sevens debuted as an Olympic sport in 2016 at the Rio games, where the Black Ferns Sevens claimed a silver medal.
The All Blacks Sevens currently sit third on the men’s World Series standings with two tournaments remaining in London and Paris. They need to finish in the top four to secure Olympic Qualification.