Blitzboks fail in latest bid to qualify for Olympics
"To lose like this after having played some very clinical and well executed rugby in the build up to the final is a very hard pill to swallow."
The Blitzboks are still trying to qualify for the 2023 Olympic Games. Picture: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images
The Springbok Sevens team will have try again to quality for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris after they failed in their bid to qualify at the Rugby Africa qualifiers in Harare at the weekend.
The Blitzboks lost 17-12 to Kenya in the final, thus finishing second in the tournament.
Coach Sandile Ngcobo and his team will now wait and see if they get clearance from Sascoc to try qualify when 12 teams fight it out for one spot in the Olympic repechage tournament, to be held in Monaco in June 2024.
“It was a really disappointing finish to a tournament we prepared extremely hard for,” said Ngcobo.
“To lose like this after having played some very clinical and well executed rugby in the build up to the final is a very hard pill to swallow.
“We always aim to make South Africa proud and to come to this Olympic qualifier and fall short is extremely disappointing. We need to become better at converting the hard work we put in to get the results that should come with it.
“We will now begin preparations for the HSBC SVNS Series that starts in December, then ready ourselves for the repechage where we have a last chance to qualify to go to Paris, if we are granted the opportunity and can get the job done.”
The Blitzboks’ record at the Olympics should aid that decision (by Sascoc), Ngcobo feels.
“We have a good record at the Olympics, so this hurt even more knowing that we are medal contenders, but sadly we did not show that in that final game,” he said.
“This team can be gold medal contenders, we showed that at the Commonwealth Games last year, but we just could not put it together on Sunday when it mattered most and that was very disappointing.”
The team will return to South Africa on Monday.