Monday, July 26, 2010

China crowned Asian Champs

China confirmed its status as the powerhouse in Asian Women’s Rugby 7s with the successful defence of its IRB title yesterday.

China took home the Asian Women’s 7s title with a clean sweep of victories, defeating Kazakkstan 26-10 in the final on home soil.
Thailand and Japan took 3rd and 4th place respectively.
Thirteen of Asia’s women’s rugby sevens teams took part in the two-day championships. The participating teams were China, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Uzbekistan, Philippines, Malaysia, India, Laos and Korea
The national women’s sevens teams of Korea and Philippines were making their first appearances on the international lscene.
China completed the tournament with a clean slate to retain the title the team first won last year in Pattaya, Thailand. The win continued a purple patch for Team China after winning the Bowl in the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai in 2009.
For the tournament, the teams were pooled into four groups based on the rankings of the 2009 Asian Women’s Sevens Championship in Pattaya. On the first day of competition in Guangzhou, (Sat Jul 24, 2010), the hosts defeated each of their competitors in Pool A, with convincing wins over 7th ranked Hong Kong China and Philippines, who, as a debut side in the IRB Asian Women’s Sevens Championships, was unranked.
Thailand, runners-up at home in 2009, were ranked second overall and grouped in Pool B alongside 8th ranked Chinese Taipei and Korea.
Pool C featured another Asian powerhouse Kazakhstan (ranked 3rd) along with Singapore (9th) and India (13th), while Pool D was topped by fourth ranked Uzbekistan, 11th seeds Laos and 12th seeds Malaysia, and Japan, who was unranked as it did not take part in 2009 but were crowned Asian champions in 2008.
The pre-tournament favourites China, Thailand, Kazakhstan and Japan emerged undefeated after day one and progressed to the medals quarterfinals along with the second placed team in each pool. The remaining teams were seeded into a bowl competition for a Round Robin tournament to determine the full ranking of the top 13 women’s sevens sides in Asia.
On day two, China continue to steamroll its opposition blanking Uzbekistan 24-0, then staving off a valiant challenge from Japan 19-7 in the medal semi final to book its place in the gold medal final.
Kazakhstan advanced from its bracket after shutting out Chinese Taipei 36-nil and edging Thailand 25-10 to reach the final.
Before the finale, Thailand beat a tiring Japan VII to win bronze.
The final saw China put the icing on the cake in front of its enthusiastic local supporters with a 26-10 win over Kazakhstan.
The game was never in the balance as China jumped out to an early lead and then hung on with ease to the delight of the spectators.
China will be in the now familiar favourites role as the action heats up in the 2010 Asian Games, which marks the first Asian Games rugby competition for women in the history of the event.
The Asian Women’s Sevens championship served as a test event for the upcoming Asian Games with the rugby event of that major competition taking place at the same venue this November.

Asian Women’s Sevens Championship 2010 Final Standings
1. China
2. Kazakhstan
3. Thailand
4. Japan
5. Hong Kong, China
6. Singapore
7. Chinese Taipei
8. Uzbekistan
9. Philippines
12. Laos

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