World Rugby Announces Rugby 7s Olympic Pathway for Tokyo 2020
Last Olympic cycle the Canadian women qualified through the first path, finishing top 4 in the World Rugby series. They finished with a Bronze in the Olympics.
The Canadian men didn't make the Olympics. They finished well below top 4 in the World Rugby series, they were beaten by USA in the regional qualifier and lost out to Spain in the repechage.
This Olympic cycle the women are in with a shot to finish top 4 in the World Rugby series but their form has been off recently. They start off in October in the USA and finish off in Paris in June. Six tournaments including Langford in May.
The men would be a long shot to finish top 4 in the series, the USA having better odds to achieve that and making Canada's path easier in the regional qualification. If USA doesn't finish top 4 then it will be the familiar Canada v USA matchup in the qualifier. Last time the qualifying tournament was held in America, North Carolina, giving the USA a huge advantage. We haven't seen any announcement on where the 2019 North American tournament will be held but hopefully Canada will get to host this time around. If Canada don't win the regional tournament they would have to go to the 12 team repechage again. from World Rugby
Rugby sevens’ Olympic qualification pathway for Tokyo 2020 has today been confirmed by the International Olympic Committee and World Rugby.
Twelve teams will compete for medals in both the men's and women's rugby sevens competitions from 27 July-1 August at Tokyo Stadium.
Japan’s men’s and women’s teams have secured automatic qualification as hosts of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, leaving 11 places in each event to be filled through the qualification process.
Just as for Rio 2016, the top four teams in the men’s and women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019 will confirm their places in Tokyo.
An additional six teams will qualify through the men’s and women’s World Rugby regional association Olympic qualification tournaments.
Regional association tournaments will take place in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania and South America from June-December 2019. The top ranked team from each regional tournament will secure qualification.
The final opportunity for Olympic qualification will be at the World Rugby Olympic Repechage tournament. Twelve teams, comprising of the next two highest ranked teams based on 2019 regional qualification rankings from each region, will be invited to participate in these Olympic repechage tournaments.
The repechage will take place at a time between the final regional qualification event and June 2020 with the overall winners of the men’s and women’s tournaments claiming the last available places for Tokyo 2020.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “Rugby sevens’ inclusion in the Olympic Games has had a profound effect on the growth of the sport at all levels. As we enter another Olympic qualifying cycle, teams have everything to play for.
“We are anticipating another thrilling HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and also expect the regional association qualification tournaments to be highly competitive.
“We look forward to following the fast-paced rugby sevens action across the season ahead as teams come within touching distance of Tokyo 2020 and securing another chance of Olympic glory.”
Rugby sevens will again feature in the first week of competition with matches being played across six days of two sessions per day from 27 July-1 August.
In a reverse of the Rio 2016 schedule, the men’s competition will be played over the first three days, followed by the women’s over the final three days, with the medals to be determined on the iconic ‘Super Saturday’.
Sevens made an impressive Olympic Games debut at Rio 2016 with Australia’s women claiming the first rugby gold medal since the 1924 Games and Fiji’s men winning their nation’s first-ever Olympic medal, with an historic gold that captured hearts around the world.
Following the sport’s successful introduction, recent Nielsen research has estimated that the rugby sevens fan-base grew by more than 30 million as a result, expanding international reach, with emerging markets such as USA, China, India and Brazil showing substantial growth.
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019 begins with the first round of the women’s series in Colorado, USA, on 20-21 October.