Ireland and Great Britain won gold medals in Rugby 7 at the European Games. Both teams booked tickets do Paris!
On the last day of the competition, the organizers and, above all, the competitors created an excellent spectacle. The Henryk Reyman’s Municipal Stadium in Kraków, where the 2022 Rugby Europe Sevens Championship Series were also played, was full of emotions.
In addition to fighting for European Games medals, Europe’s top teams gain Olympic qualification for the 2024 Paris. The winner of the tournament automatically qualifies for the Olympic Games, while the second and third teams will go to an international repechage tournament.
On the women’s semifinals the first game, between Great Britain and Belgium, were interrupted because strong wind have caused elements of the branding (the tarpaulin that covers elements of the stage) to snag on the post. When organisers fixed the problem, teams back on the pitch. It was very interesting game, but Team GB showed its superiority and won 36:12 and in the final, Great Britain faced a match against Poland, which won against the Czech Republic 29:7.
During men’s semifinals Ireland one more time showed great shape, winning against Portugal 24:0. Irish fans in the stadium argued that their favorites were heading for gold. However, for the Great Britain, who defeated Spain 19:7, it wasn’t so obvious.
The women’s final was held first. It was a big thing for the tournament hosts, who were hoping for success for their team. Team GB showed in Kraków amazing shape and beat home team 33:0 meaning that this team has secured participation in the Paris Games.
In the bronze medal match Czech Republic defeated Belgium 24:17.
In the men’s final Ireland defeated Great Britain 26:12. It was very good game, but In the end, it was the Irish team that proved superior and secured the gold of the European Games, as well as qualification for the Olympic Games.
The bronze medal went to the Spanish team, which beat Portugal 42:0. And this team will also be seen in the repechage tournament.