South Korea went undefeated to win the 2019 Asian Men’s Rugby Sevens Olympic Qualifying Tournament. By winning, the nation has also qualified to the Olympics. In total, nine nations competed in three groups where they then all competed in a single elimination bracket. The Asian Men’s Rugby Sevens Olympic Qualifying Tournament was held in Incheon, South Korea from November 23rd to November 24th 2019.
Top seed Hong Kong won Pool A by putting up 54-0 victories over Malaysia and Chinese Taipei. Second place went to Malaysia, thanks to their 26-19 win over Chinese Taipei during the opening match of the pool.
Pool B while won by China, had to relatively struggle to build a lead as they won over Singapore (33-12) and the Philippines (26-15). The Philippines defeated Singapore 21-12 to finish second.
Host nation South Korea won Pool C where after defeating Afghanistan 19-0, committed a minor seeding upset as they defeated Sri Lanka 44-7 during the final match of the pool. Sri Lanka finished second thanks to a 26-5 victory over Afghanistan.
The eighth and ninth ranked team faced off each other to determine the final team to advance to the quarterfinals. This was between Afghanistan and Chinese Taipei where the former won 35-12 to advance to play Hong Kong.
The quarterfinals saw the three group winners score victories where Hong Kong, South Korea and China all defeated Afghanistan (38-0), Malaysia (32-7) and Singapore (50-5) respectively. The other match was won by the Philippines who defeated Sri Lanka 24-17. Hong Kong continued its impressive form during the semi-final where they defeated the Philippines 26-0 while the match between South Korea and China was quite close with the host nation prevailing 12-7 to advance to the finals.
Normal time solved nothing during the finals as South Korea and Hong Kong remained tied 7-7. During the sudden death extra time it was South Korea’s Chang Yong-heung whom scored the winning try to send his nation to the Olympics. The third place match was won by China who defeated the Philippines 19-14.
South Korea will be making its Olympic debut in rugby sevens. By finishing second and third, Hong Kong and China will have one more opportunity to qualify to the Olympics via the Final Olympic Qualification Tournament. This tournament will be the final opportunity for any nation to qualify to the Olympics.
* South Korea