NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s Sevens rugby head coach Paul Murunga
faces a litmus test in his first season as he eyes to hit two
birds with one stone.
Murunga is eying a
top four finish in the World Series, which will see Kenya secure
automatic qualification to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“The focus is to
maintain the high standards we have and continue to impress on
the global stage. I want the team to finish in the highest
possible position to help us secure Olympic qualification,” said
Murunga on Saturday in Nairobi.
World Rugby has
confirmed that the top four teams in the men’s and women’s World
Rugby Sevens Series in the 2019 season, which starts in Dubai on
Dec. 1, will confirm their places in Tokyo Games.
Guedel N’Diaye, the
Rugby Africa’s competitions director, said the 2019 season will
have the African Olympic qualifications as the main competition
in the continent.
“With the qualifiers
for the 2019 World Cup complete, focus now shifts to the
Olympics. The focus, of course will be on the Rugby Africa Gold
Cup and its 15 intensely competitive matches. We have enjoyed
wonderful rugby from very professional teams and in particular,
we have seen improvements in quality at all levels on the field
by the players,” said N’Diaye in a statement.
“Next year, Rugby
Africa plans to continue to progress at the same pace with a
focus on the men’s and women’s Sevens with an eye on Olympic
With the World Seven
Series top four teams claiming automatic qualification,
International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed that an
additional six teams will qualify through the men’s and women’s
World Rugby regional association Olympic qualification
tournaments will take place in Africa, Asia, Europe, North
America, Oceania and South America from June-December 2019. The
top ranked team from each regional tournament will secure
opportunity for Olympic qualification will be at the World Rugby
Olympic Repechage tournament, where 12 teams, comprising of the
next two highest ranked teams based on 2019 regional
qualification rankings from each region, will be invited to