Aug 18,2014(ISN) – Day two of the Rugby Sevens event at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games bought high-quality action as the race to secure semi-final positions in the men’s and women’s competition climaxed.
Once again, the Chinese crowd got behind all the teams with athletes dropping by the Youth Olympics Sports Park to experience the newest Olympic sport on its Youth Olympic debut.
China join Australia and Canada in women’s semi-finals
Australia, China and Canada guaranteed their place in the women’s Youth Olympic Games Rugby Sevens semi-finals with one session of pool play to spare.
The semi-final rankings will be determined on the final session, when the fourth semi-finalist will also be confirmed.
With competition intense, all three of the remaining teams – Spain, USA and Tunisia – have a mathematical chance of securing the coveted place.
Australia recorded wins over USA (38-0) and Spain (34-0) to remain undefeated and top the women’s standings.
Home favourites China rallied from a tight defeat to Australia on Sunday to record victories against Tunisia (34-0) and USA (29-7) to finish the day second in the table.
Canada, having lost to China in their opening match on day one, have now gone three matches undefeated and consolidated second after defeating Spain 31-0 and Tunisia 43-12.
Spain are in pole position to claim the final place and must hope that USA do not defeat Tunisia with a big score.
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Women’s pool standings after day two 1. Australia – 12 points
2. China – 10 points
3. Canada – 10 points
4. Spain – 7 points
5. USA – 5 points
6. Tunisia – 4 points
Argentina set the pace in the men’s competition
Argentina and France secured semi-final places after a highly-competitive second day of matches in the men’s competition.
Fiji and Japan are in pole position to secure the remaining berths, but Kenya also have a mathematical chance of joining the medal hunt.
The final session of pool play matches on Tuesday morning will determine the semi-final line-up with France playing Japan, Argentina playing USA and Fiji facing Kenya.
Fiji had topped the table after the opening day, but lost to France 17-12 before going down to Argentina 21-0, opening the door for the South Americans to top the standings.
France backed up their victory over Fiji by edging past a much-improved USA team 22-17 to ensure a top-four finish.
Men’s pool standings after day two
1. Argentina – 12 points
2. France – 10 points
3. Fiji – 8 points
4. Japan – 8 points
5. Kenya – 5 points
6. USA – 4 points
IRB Head of Competitions and Performance Mark Egan said: “Once again, we have seen a high-quality day of Youth Olympic Games Rugby Sevens as the semi-final race took centre stage.”
“It is fantastic to see that the local fans are really enjoying the competition and with China in the hunt for a medal, we are set for an exciting final couple of match days.”
Tuesday’s final round of pool matches will determine the seedings before the positional play-offs and semi-finals take place from 16:00 (local time).