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Hong Kong and Japan win gold in Nanjing

(IRB.COM) Monday 19 August 2013
 
 Hong Kong and Japan win gold in Nanjing
Hong Kong won the boy's gold medal at the Youth Asian Games

Hong Kong's men and Japan's women both won gold in the Rugby Sevens competition at the second Asian Youth Games in Nanjing on Monday.

With less than a year until Rugby Sevens forms part of the Olympic programme for the first time in Nanjing, this event provided the Chinese city with a dress rehearsal ahead of next year's Youth Olympic Games. 

For the continents' finest young athletes this was another chance to showcase their skills, with one eye also on the sport's debut at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016. 

In the boy's competition Hong Kong impressed over the three days as the only side not to suffer defeat and they ended with the gold medal after proving too strong for Thailand in the final, winning 33-12 with Oscar Kurten scoring two tries on a rain-soaked day in Nanjing. 

The pre-tournament favourites Japan could only collect bronze after beating Chinese Taipei 33-7 thanks to 13 points from Takeyama Koki in the bronze medal play-off. 

Having lost to Thailand 24-12 in the pool stages they were also defeated 17-0 in the semi final at the hands of Hong Kong after a victory against China in their quarter final. 

The Philippines, Sri Lanka and Korea were the other three teams to reach the quarter finals, and it was Sri Lanka who went on to finish fifth, beating China 24-5 in the fifth place play-off thanks to two tries from Kevin Dixon. 

ASIAN YOUTH GAMES - RUGBY SEVENS >>

In the girl's competition China had led 14-0 at half time with tries from Liu Xiaoqian and LV Hewen, but two from Ugawa Shiho and one each from Bativakalolo Raichierumiyo and Fukushima Wasana, who also converted all four tries, helped Japan win the gold medal.

In the pool stages Japan scored 23 tries and conceded just one to set up their semi final with Hong Kong, while Kazakhstan were the only side not to progress to the semi finals having lost all four of their pool matches.

Hong Kong beat Thailand 21-5 to win the bronze medal after they lost to Japan and China respectively.

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Player Quotes of Support

“More than anything, Sevens embodies the Olympic ideals of camaraderie, fair play and respect on and off the field of play.”  – Shane Williams, Wales

“You play sport at the highest level to challenge yourself to be the best that you can possibly be and to compete with the best from all over the world, and what better stage to do that on than at the Olympics?” – Sue Day, England

“Going to the Commonwealth Games was amazing and to have the chance to go to the Olympics would be right up there with anything you could possibly dream of doing in sport.” – Tamati Ellison, New Zealand

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