China have made quite the impact over the past couple of weeks in the world or rugby sevens.
First they qualified unbeaten from the Hong Kong Sevens for next season’s women’s series. Then they were seeded twelfth for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco in July.
And at the recent Kitakyushu Sevens, their first experience on the world stage since the 2014/15 series, they reached a first-ever Cup quarter-final.
“We are really glad to be part of it, and proud to make It to top eight and to play with the top countries,” said captain Yan Meiling.
“It was very exciting and normally we only see these teams on TV so that was very exciting for us.”
In pool play they were beaten by Australia, despite scoring a great try against the Commonwealth Games silver medalists.
Their impressive victory against Ireland came after a narrow defeat to Spain, who finished fourth overall in the tournament, almost coming from 19-0 to snatch a draw.
On day two they were beaten 50-0 by New Zealand before a 24-19 defeat to series regulars Fiji. Chen Keyi was named in the dream team for the tournament and there is room to learn and grow from the experience.
“New Zealand were the toughest opponents,” added Meiling. “They are best and we like their team so much.”
“She (Keyi) was exceptional, her performance really stood out and she scored a lot of tries
“Through this weekend we saw the gap between our team and the top teams – we will analyse this back home, prepare, and hope for better results next year.”