It is indeed a historic moment for the Pacific Island nation of Fiji as they won their first Olympic gold medal in the men’s rugby sevens after dominating Great Britain, 43-7, in Rio.
Fiji breezed through the finals unbeaten after taking down Japan, 20-5, in the semifinals while Great Britain earned a shot at the gold with their 7-5 margin over powerhouse South Africa. The Fijian side showed dominance and focus in the first half as they cruised to a 29-0 lead.
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Great Britain would make little resistance in the second half paving the way for Fiji to storm their way into Olympic history. It is the major accomplishment Fiji has made since sending athletes to the Olympics back in 1956. Fiji has the IOC to thank for after the later deciding bringing back the sport in a seven-a-side format in 2009
Fiji’s London-born coach Ben Ryan told BBC that with Fiji’s feat in the Olympics, celebration back home will be crazy as ever. He added that his smiles are keeping him not from crying over the historic moment they have done in the Olympics.
“The team saved the best until last. They played some staggeringly good stuff. We wanted to showcase the way Fijian sport can be played and wanted to put smiles on everyone’s faces,” Ryan said.
In the earlier match, South Africa bagged the bronze medal with their 54-14 performance over Japan, which started huge after scoring an upset over New Zealand at the start of the competitions.
At the start of the men’s competition, Fiji was considered as one of the tournament favorites having earned back-to-back World Series Championship titles. But winning the gold in the Olympics made it extra special. Ryan added that back home, nobody expected them to even reach the medal round and all of that has changed with their historic feat in the Olympic this year.
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