Japan qualify for Rio Olympics

Date published: November 8 2015

Japan have qualified for the Rio Olympics after beating tournament hosts Hong Kong 24-10 in the final of the Asia Rugby Sevens Qualifier.

The favourites came through Saturday's pool action against Chinese Taipei, Singapore and South Korea without conceding a single point.

Sunday's final pool fixture, against China, also saw them keep their try-line intact as Japan finished the group with 185 points on the board.

They then progressed into the Cup semi-finals where they beat Sri Lanka 43-0 before their toughest game came against Hong Kong, who battled admirably in the final but eventually went down to a defeat, with the final score of 24-10 seeing Japan prevail.

Hong Kong stunned their rivals in the final by scoring two first-half tries to take a deserved 10-0 lead into the break. But Japan responded in style to book their ticket for Rio and ensure the rugby fever sweeping the country since the Brave Blossoms' good showing at the 2015 World Cup continued.

Hong Kong gave Japan a scare when Alex McQueen scored in the left hand corner to hand his side a 5-0 lead. Captain Max Woodward then doubled the advantage when he touched down on the opposite flank a minute before the break. 

But Japan never looked back once they drew first blood in the second-half thanks to some wonderful footwork from Teruya Goto.

After Lemeki Lomano put Japan in front for the first time, Kazuhiro Goya and Katsuyki Sahai capitalised on Hong Kong mistakes to score twice in the final 90 seconds and secure victory.