New Zealand beat France on Saturday 26-12 to win a five-year gold medal in the women’s rugby sevens title at the Tokyo Olympics.
New Zealand lost to Australia in their first appearance at the Olympics Rugby Sevens in Rio de Janeiro in the 2016 final, but they have dominated ever since.
The New Zealanders entered the Olympics as the World Cup Sevens and World Cup Sevens champions, but there were some strong calls for the final, including Golden Point’s semi-final victory in overtime against Fiji.
The Frenchman, unbeaten in his first five matches in Tokyo, trailed in the first minute and failed to match the intensity of the black fern.
Michael Blyth scored in the first minute for New Zealand, after the French reduced the difference to two points with an attempt from Caroline Rowen, which was mostly one-sided.
Portia Woodman took a break, but was sent off from the penalty spot which led to Gael Bratton scoring into the left corner.
Find live broadcasts, videos, important news and more in one of the best Olympic sports packages. Following on from Team Canada has never been easier or more exciting.
More from Tokyo 2020
Stacey Fலர் hler ran from an inside corner to score under the last try after the match to give New Zealand a 19-5 lead at the end of the first half. Sicilian Anne Chauvani scored and changed for France, tying back Tila Nathan Wong to secure the win.
When Fiji beat Great Britain 21-12 for the bronze medal, Alofasi Nakoshi scored two and made two. This is the first Olympic medal for Fijian women. The Fiji men’s team has won back-to-back Olympic titles.
“Having gone there as a team, I think we deserved it,” Fijian player Viniana Revai said of the bronze medal.
The Fijian group has been in camp since the first week of April, and has been unable to visit family because cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in their Pacific island nation.
“We are excited about what is happening in Fiji right now,” said Revoy. “We dreamed of it and we will never forget that moment.”
Two new nations rose to the women’s podium, with Australia finishing fifth and Canada, bronze medalists in Rio, failing to reach the quarter-finals.
The Australians came in fifth with a 17-7 victory over the Americans, a day after the Americans lost 12 points to win the group stage final.
China participated in two attempts to beat Russia 22-10 in qualifying for seventh place between the two countries, which made its debut in the rugby sevens.
The two new teams beat Canada 24-10 and finished ninth. Brazil beat Japan 21-12 to take the hosts last.
The Japanese women’s team built a fort and gave a ceremonial salute to the main grandstand, which was met with polite applause. It was a tough match for Japan, who were not able to use their home advantage to improve their performance in Brazil.
“Reader. Travel maven. Student. Passionate tv junkie. Internet ninja. Twitter advocate. Web nerd. Bacon buff.”