Kenya Sevens win gold at World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series in Dubai


Kenya Sevens men’s team clinched the gold medal at the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger 2024 in Dubai, while their counterparts, the Kenya Lionesses, secured a commendable silver in the women’s category.

The event, a testament to the global growth of rugby sevens, saw teams from Africa, Asia, and South America dominate the podium in a series of intensely competitive matches.

The Kenyan men’s team, a formidable force in the HSBC SVNS circuit, showcased their determination to return to the top tier after being relegated to the Challenger last year.

Their journey to victory was marked by a series of challenging matches, culminating in a nail-biting final against Chile, which they won 12-5. The Kenyans had earlier dispatched Uruguay with a convincing 21-5 win in the semi-finals, setting the stage for their ultimate triumph.

Chile, giving a tough fight, fell just short in the final, but their journey to the last stage, including a 15-7 victory over the previously unbeaten Germany, was nothing short of remarkable. Uruguay, displaying remarkable resilience, bounced back from their semi-final loss to Kenya to clinch the bronze medal, defeating Germany 12-7.

On the women’s side, the Kenya Lionesses made a spectacular run to the final, defeating Argentina 17-0 in the semi-finals. Their performance throughout the tournament was a display of skill and teamwork.

However, in the final, they faced a strong Chinese team, which emerged victorious with a 19-5 win. China’s path to gold included a staggering 45-5 victory over Uganda in their semi-final, demonstrating their dominance in the women’s competition.

The Lionesses’ silver medal win is a significant achievement, considering their 17-12 victory over China in the pool match, reflecting the high level of competition and the close margins that define the sport at this level.

Argentina’s women’s team continued the South American success story by securing the bronze with a 36-10 win over Uganda.

The Kenyan teams’ performance was particularly inspiring. Co-captain Tony Omondi expressed his joy, stating, “We are super happy. We knew this Challenger event in Dubai was very crucial for us to start on a high, and now we must carry on with the momentum until the last tournament.”

He also acknowledged the inspiration drawn from the women’s team, highlighting the spirit of camaraderie and mutual support between the men’s and women’s teams.

The World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger Series is not just a competition but a pathway for teams to ascend to the HSBC SVNS 2025. The top four placed men’s and women’s teams secure their place in the new promotion and relegation play-off competition at the HSBC SVNS 2024 Grand Final in Madrid. This series, introduced in 2020, has significantly contributed to the growth of rugby sevens, offering a clear promotion path and reflecting the sport’s expanding global footprint.

As the teams prepare for the next round of the Challenger in Montevideo and subsequent events in Krakow and Munich, the Kenyan teams’ performance in Dubai will undoubtedly be a source of inspiration and a benchmark for their upcoming challenges.

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