Kenya Women's Rugby Team Qualify for Rio 2016 Olympics
Kenya women’s rugby team qualify for Rio 2016 olympics
World Rugby have confirmed Kenya's women's rugby Sevens team will compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. This follows the National Olympic Committee of Kenya accepting the position in accordance with the Olympic Games qualification rules.
The announcement follows confirmation by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) to the South African Rugby Union and World Rugby that it does not intend to accept a place at the Games, which the South African women earned via the Africa regional qualifier.
World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "It is with great excitement that we welcome Kenya to the global line-up of women's teams for the rugby Sevens competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games."
"Kenya is at the forefront of women's rugby in Africa and we look forward to seeing them representing their nation and the African region at the Games alongside the men's team. Excitement is building after a breath-taking start to the women's and men's HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and all roads lead to Rio and a game-changing Game for rugby."
Kenya Women’s Sevens head Coach Mike Shamiah welcomed the decision and said the girls will be competitive at the Olympics."It’s a dream to play at the Olympics. We are more than ready to compete and the team is delighted that they will go against the world's best players," he added.
Shamiah said they will sit down with the union to come up with a training plan and schedule in the New Year.
"We are going to sit down with the union and see how best the team will prepare for the Olympics. We have received an invite to play at the Hong Kong Sevens but its not enough. We need three more tournaments to get the girls in good shape and condition for the tournament," added Shamiah.
He said player depth in the squad is good but they will be scouting for more players in the new yea."We have a training squad of players to choose from but it will be good if we can add a couple more players to have competition in the squad."
The world's top women's Sevens players will make history when they become the first rugby players to compete for an Olympic Games medal in 92 years with 12 teams competing over three days between August 6-8 before the men take to sport's biggest stage between August 9-11.
Both competitions will be played at the purpose-built rugby Sevens venue in the Deodoro complex and with tickets selling fast, fans have been urged to secure their tickets early to secure the opportunity of seeing the world’s best players.