Korea will host the Asia Rugby rugby sevens men’s qualification tournament for The Games Of The XXXII Olympiad this weekend.
With nine of the top Asian teams competing for a spot alongside Japan as Asia’s representatives, the competition on 23-24 November at the Namdong Asiad Stadium, Incheon, Korea is set to be a thriller.
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There are also places available at the global repechage for the sides finishing second and third but for the winner, they are guaranteed to play on the world’s biggest stage in Tokyo next year.
Pool A will feature defending Asian Games gold medalists Hong Kong who go into the tournament as top seeds and they will face Chinese Taipei and Malaysia.
In pool B China, who will be looking to join their female compatriots in Tokyo, will play the Philippines and Singapore while in Pool C Sri Lanka will face host Korea and Afghanistan.
The odd number of teams means a change from the Asian series format.
An eighth v ninth place play-off will be held to conclude day one to determine who makes the quarter-finals on day two.
Rugby sevens will make its second appearance in the Olympic Games following its successful introduction at the Rio 2016 Olympics which saw its fan-base increase by almost 17 million in six key territories (Nielsen).
Newly elected Asia Rugby President Qais Al Dhalai who will be in Korea and he said: “Every player in any sport will dream to play at the Olympics.
“This dream needs dedication, commitment and determination. It’s the nation’s pride to have its rugby National Team playing at the Olympics;”
“I truly wish the Asian men’s team all the best of luck during this weekend and will witness who clinches the direct qualification slot and who goes to the repechage.”
Earlier in the month China women joined Japan while Hong Kong and Kazakhstan booked their spots at the global repechage where 12 teams will compete
for one final spot.
Where to watch: The Men Qualifiers will be live-streamed on the Asia Rugby Facebook page @Asia.rugby