EDITORIAL | Blitzboks can go all way for Tokyo win

PREMIUM



Though it was an inconsistent World Sevens Series campaign by their own high standards, the Blitzboks can look back with pride at securing their much-prized Olympic qualification berth.No doubt coach Neil Powell will conduct an in-depth review on how his team can lift their game to another level ahead of the 2020 Games. The Blitzboks have high standards and they achieved a bronze medal finish in the last tournament of the series in Paris at the Stade Jean-Bouin.SA were the defending champions in Paris and managed to maintain high intensity throughout the tournament.With the Olympics a year away, the USA have emerged as a real gold medal contender in Tokyo in 2020 and the South Africans will have to keep a close watch on them.Fiji, the USA, New Zealand and SA secured the four automatic qualifying berths for Tokyo as the top four on the World Series standings.For the Blitzboks, Paris was another tournament of exceptional Pool play – they topped their Pool for a 10th straight time this season – followed by one poor performance in the knockout stages.The Blitzboks suffered a massive 33-7 semifinal loss against New Zealand but rallied to beat the USA 24-7 in the third place decider. Fiji finished the season with 186 points, the USA 177, New Zealand 162 and SA 148.The fact that the Blitzboks scored 34 points fewer than they did on their way to the title in 2018 despite winning two tournaments in each campaign, underlined their inconsistency in 2019.Winning an Olympic gold medal will be the ultimate for Powell and his team and they will leave no stone unturned in their quest for glory.Over the years South Africa have developed a reputation of playing flat-out until the final whistle no matter what situation they find themselves in.It is this quality that could take them all the way to the winners podium in Tokyo.

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