Hosts Korea defeated Hong Kong 12-7 in the final of the Asia Rugby Men’s Olympic qualifier in the most thrilling of circumstances to secure their place in the men’s competition of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
With the match in sudden death extra-time, Korea turned over Hong Kong by winning a penalty near their own try-line and then held onto possession expertly before Seongmin Jang finished off the length-of-the-field move to spark wild celebrations within the Namdong Asiad Stadium in Incheon.
“The last try was amazing, it means so much to us,” said Korea captain, Park Wanyong.
“We give the fans an Olympic opportunity and this is for the fans.”
Hong Kong will have another chance to qualify, along with China who won the third-place play-off against the Philippines 19-14, at the World Rugby Olympic Repechage tournament in June 2020 which will be the final chance for a team to qualify.
12 men’s sides and 12 women’s sides will compete for the prestigious gold, silver and bronze medals, and Asia will now be represented by both Japan men and women as well as China women and Korea men.
Fiji, USA, New Zealand and South Africa secured qualification after finishing in the top four of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019, and Argentina, Canada, Great Britain, Kenya and Australia each won their regional qualifier to book their spot.
In the women’s competition, China will be joined by the top four from last season’s world series – New Zealand, USA, Canada and Australia – along with regional tournament winners Brazil, Great Britain, Fiji and Kenya.
Following the conclusion of the regional qualification process, only three spots remain to be filled via the Repechage – two in the women’s and one in the men’s.
Rugby sevens will take place at the Tokyo Stadium at next year’s Olympic Games where it will make its second appearance on the Olympic Games programme following its debut at Rio 2016. The men’s sessions will be played from 27-29 July with the women’s being held from 31 July-1 August 2020.
Malaysia , who were playing in Group A, lost all their round robin matches including a 0-54 thrashing at the hands of Hong Kong. They also lost to Chinese Taipei 19-26.
As there were only nine teams in the competition, Malaysia still qualified for the quarter-finals. The Malaysian’s suffered yet another loss, losing 7-32 to Korea.
The defeat saw Malaysia playing in the semi-final of the Plate competition, where they won their only match in the competition beating Singapore 21-7.
In the plate final they Sri Lanka eased to a 14-7 win over Malaysia. Sri Lanka were up 14-0 before a last gasp try from Amalul Hazim Nasaruddin converted by Muhammad Azwan Zuwairi gave them a more respectable scoreline.