By MARTIN MUSUNKA –
ZAMBIA has qualified for the 2015 Africa Olympic qualifications for the 2016 Olympic Games which will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
This follows Zambia’s resounding performance at last weekend’s Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) Sevens tournament in Harare, Zimbabwe.
World Rugby regional development manager for Africa, Jean-Luc Barthes announced yesterday that Zambia was among the top nine countries that earned direct Africa Olympic qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games.
According to the final rankings after the Africa Sevens tournament, Zambia finished ninth, together with top finishers South Africa who were followed in second position by Kenya and hosts Zimbabwe were third while in fourth position were Tunisia.
Namibia claimed fifth position with Uganda settling for the sixth slot. Madagascar and Senegal were ranked seventh and eight respectively.
Barthes explained that, countries that were finally ranked from one to nine earned direct qualification while those that finished after the ninth slot, will be compelled to undergo a pre-qualifier tournament in order to secure a berth that would give them chances of qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games. These are Botswana who emerged 10th, Nigeria on the 11th log while tail-enders were Ivory Coast.
During the CAR African Sevens championships in Harare, Zambia lifted the bowl after beating Ivory Coast 26-14.
On the first day of the tournament, Zambia recorded two wins over Botswana 1-12 and Senegal 26-17 but dropped two matches to 5-21 and to South Africa 0-33. On the second day, Zambia were not lucky and lost to Madagascar 0-32.
Rugby will be among the sporting disciplines at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, after being re-admitted since 1924 when the sport was last played at the summer Olympics in Paris, France. – Story courtesy of SUMA SYSTEMS.