Kenya stuns South Africa to clinch Olympic spot, Zimbabwe misses out


Zimbabwe's hopes of qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games were dashed after they finished fourth in the Rugby Africa Men's Sevens tournament at Harare Sports Club on Sunday. 

Zimbabwe sevens rugby miss out on Olympic spot

The Cheetahs needed to win the continental competition to secure the sole automatic ticket to the Olympics, but they were eliminated by eventual champions Kenya in the semi-finals.

Kenya, who competed at the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, staged a remarkable comeback to beat South Africa 24-21 in the final and book their place at their third successive Olympic Games. 

South Africa led 14-0 at halftime, but the Shujaa scored four tries in the second half to stun the Blitzboks and claim the trophy.

Zimbabwe, who also missed out on the 2024 Challenger Series and the Final Olympic Qualification Tournament, lost 24-12 to Uganda in the third-place playoff. 

Zimbabwe sevens rugby Cheetahs

The Cheetahs had beaten Uganda 19-5 in the pool stages, but they failed to repeat that performance and settled for fourth place.

Zimbabwe had started the tournament well, winning two matches and drawing one in their group. 

They beat Madagascar 26-10 in the quarter-finals, but they could not match Kenya's pace and power in the semi-finals and lost 35-10.

Uganda and South Africa will join the runners-up and third-placed teams from Asia, Europe, Oceania, North America and South America in the final qualification tournament set for June 2024 for the last slot to the Olympics.

Uganda and Kenya will also vie for a place in the 2024/25 World Rugby Sevens Series at the Challenger Series in 2024.

The final rankings of the 2023 Africa Men's Sevens tournament are as follows:

1. Kenya 🇰🇪 (Olympic Qualified)

2. South Africa 🇿🇦

3. Uganda 🇺🇬

4. Zimbabwe 🇿🇼

5. Zambia 🇿🇲

6. Burkina Faso 🇧🇫

7. Madagascar 🇲🇬

8. Nigeria 🇳🇬

9. Tunisia 🇹🇳

10. Namibia 🇳🇦

11. Algeria 🇩🇿

12. Ivory Coast 🇨🇮

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