Madagascar rewarded a 25,000 strong home crowd in Antananarivo by winning the rugby sevens competition at the seventh Indian Ocean Games.
The home side, saw off Mauritius in the crucial match 39-14, having also beaten off the challenge of Mayotte, Réunion and the Seychelles at the capital's Stade Mahamasina.
Rugby is the national sport in Madagascar, having been played there for over 100 years, and was suitably supported.
"To see 25,000 spectators in the stadium for a sevens match in this rugby outpost was remarkable," said Jean-Luc Barthes, IRB Regional Development Manager for Africa.
"All the more so when you consider that Madagascan teams were also involved in basketball, martial arts and volleyball at the same time," Barthes continued.
Rugby Sevens is now an established fixture in many multi-sport Games. New Zealand won their third Commonwealth title in Melbourne last year, while Sevens has also been contested at the Asian Games, the South Pacific Games and the World Games with involvement to follow in the All-Africa Games and the Pan-American Games.
The IRB also remains committed to lobbying for rugby's readmission into the sporting programme of the Olympic Games.
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