x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Bid to enter 2016 Games

The success of the World Cup Sevens is reason enough for the sport to be included in the Olympic Games from 2016, according to Humphrey Kayange.

The success of the World Cup Sevens is reason enough for the sport to be included in the Olympic Games from 2016, according to Humphrey Kayange. The Kenya rugby sevens captain was part of a six-person International Rugby Board (IRB) delegation that met with the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) executive board in Switzerland yesterday. "The IRB World Cup Sevens in Dubai showed that the so-called smaller sporting nations can compete with the biggest in the world," Kayange said. "Countries like Zimbabwe, Samoa, Tonga and Uruguay proved they are capable of beating the best.

"Playing at an Olympic Games would offer these countries a real chance of medals and a further opportunity to be part of the global sporting family." The IRB secretary general Mike Miller said rugby sevens would complement the Olympic sports. "The sevens format - seven players per team, two seven-minute halves, 24 matches a day - is made for television, made for sponsors and most importantly loved by fans and players alike," Miller added.

Rugby was played in the 1900, 1908, 1920 and 1924 Games. It is one of seven sports being considered for inclusion, with a vote scheduled for October. lthornhill@thenational.ae