Team Canada's Elissa Alarie is all concentration as a Fijian player drags her to the ground at the World Rugby Women's Sevens Series at the Westhills stadium in Langford. April 19

Rugby Sevens team qualifies for Rio

Women's Rugby Sevens team wins three games to secure an Olympic berth in 2016.

Canada’s Women’s Sevens Rugby team have punched their ticket to Rio.

The team became the first Canadian team in any sport to qualify for the Summer games, secured the first step to a podium finish at the 2016 Summer Olympics by clinching a spot in the Cup Quarterfinals at the Amsterdam Sevens May 22. The team that trains out of Langford, went 3-0 on day one of the tournament to secure the berth.

“It’s the fruition of a big plan that we put together almost five years ago to get to this point, as well as the goal we set at the beginning of the year as a program to get one of those (four) qualifying spots,” said head coach John Tait. “Our goal was to have it wrapped up as soon as we could to alleviate pressure and I think we came pretty close to that.”

Canada finished Spain 29-0, the Netherlands 34-10 and France 26-5 to secure their spots in Brazil in 2016. The team finished in second in London at the London Sevens a week before and 6th in Langford in April.

“It is all about the athletes, making a plan is one thing and the plan we made was an aggressive one and it was always going to make a resilient group to achieve it,” he said. “Full credit to the athletes we have and the leadership we have as a group. We’ve been through a lot of tough times, the growing pains of centralizing and becoming technicians in our professional approach has been a long one. It was made achievable through the great characters we have on this team and we’ve gotten stronger every year.”

alim@goldstreamgazette.com

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