Over three days of action at Villaggio del Rugby in Naples, Japan, France, South Africa and Russia dominated the eight-team rugby sevens tournament at the World University Games. It was, however, Japan who came out on top beating last year’s World University champions in the final.
The Rugby Sevens came to a close after three days of competition (5-7 July), with Japan taking gold after an entertaining final at Villaggio del Rugby with Japan beating France 33-7 to complete a golden double as the Japanese has also won the preceding men’s final.
Japan simply too strong for their opponents. France scored first through Emile Boulard , but by half-time Japan were 21-7 up and in the end ran in five tries (two each from Honoka Tsutsumi and Hana Nagata, and one from Wakaba Hara) against a tiring French side.
The champions ended the tournament undefeated, winning all three group games - including a 24-17 victory over France earlier in the competition - along with a 31-12 win over Russia in the semifinals this morning.
Gold medal winner Yume Hirano expressed her delight at the achievement.
“I am very happy for this medal,” said Hirano. “Every game has been hard, and this one was also very difficult. We are very proud.”
Undoubtedly very happy with the victory, the Nippon Sport Science University student also touched on her high hopes for the future.
“I will try and go to the Olympics and win the gold medal.”
Russia beat South Africa 12-10 and finish third and take bronze, and despite having lost to South Africa in their group match earlier this week.
South Africa and Japan had topped Pools A and B respectively with three wins from three, with the former then losing out to France 19-12 in the second semi-final this morning.
Pool A: France 17-24 Japan; Canada 14-12 Italy; France 35-0 Italy; Canada 0-29 Japan; Japan 36-17 Italy; Canada 7-17 France
Pool B: South Africa 33-0 Belgium; Russia 41-7 Argentina; South Africa 34-7 Argentina; Russia 52-0 Belgium; Belgium 7-19 Argentina; Russia 10-14 South Africa
Semi-finals: South Africa 12-19 France; Japan 31-12 Russia
Bronze final: South Africa 10-12 Russia
Gold final: France 7-33 Japan
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1 Renee Gonzalez; 2 Shawna Brayton; 3 Asia Hogan-Rochester; 4 Chanelle Edwards-Challenger; 5 Julia Schell; 6 Brooke Bazian; 7 Laney Aikens; 8 Erika Scott; 9 Talia Hoffman; 10 Hailey Driscoll; 11 Tatiana Joseph; 12 Rachel Mccallan
1 Melissa Bergeron; 2 Sarah Aguado; 3 Meg Mambe; 4 Julie Coudert; 5 Oceane Buisson; 6 Emilie Boulard; 7 Marie-Aurelie Castel; 8 Ian Jason; 9 Carla Arbez; 10 Hada Traore; 11 Charlotte Escudero; 12 Manae Feleu
1 Laura Gurioli; 2 Michela Trinca; 3 Giada Franco; 4 Claudia Salvadego; 5 Beatrice Rigoni; 6 Laura Paganini; 7 Aura Muzzo; 8 Isabella Locatelli; 9 Alessia Gronda; 10 Giulia Barbieri; 11 Alice Natale; 12 Micol Cavina
1 Yume Hirano; 2 Riho Kurogi; 3 Mami Shinzaki; 4 Wakaba Hara; 5 Raichieru Miyo Bativakalolo; 6 Honoka Tsutsumi; 7 Hana Nagata; 8 Iroha Nagata; 9 Miyu Shirako; 10 Ayumi Yabuuchi; 11 Haruna Okada; 12 Kana Murokoshi
1 Daria Noritsina; 2 Daria Lushina; 3 Ekaterina Mikhaleva; 4 Mariia Molokoedova; 5 Evgeniia Steblinskaia; 6 Alena Dammer; 7 Alina Arterchuk; 8 Diana Glushenko; 9 Snezhanna Kulkova; 10 Diana Loginova; 11 Iana Danilova; 12 Kseniia Pozdeeva
1 Nadine Roos; 2 Kemisetso Shalene Baloyi; 3 Rights Mkhari; 4 Vhugala Voice Ndou; 5 Liske Gertruida Lategan; 8 Sune Botha; 9 Sancha Van Niekerk; 10 Elizabeth Ma Janse Van Rensburg; 11 Shania Lee Swart; 12 Meghan Phillips; 13 Babalwa Latsha; 14 Lusanda Dumke