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We Have Time

The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team has more than enough time to prepare for the deferred Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
31 Mar 2020 13:44
We Have Time
FFiji Airways Fiji 7s head coach Gareth Baber drives home a point during one of their training sessions early this year at the Uprising Resort grounds.

The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team has more than enough time to prepare for the deferred Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

The Fijians have until July 2021 to prepare and defend the gold.

Tokyo Olympics organizers are eyeing July as the start date for the postponed Games.

For head coach Gareth Baber, the new date will help him sharpen the team’s performance.

“The deferment of the Olympic Games has an impact on our plans; but at the same time we have mapped out strategies that will help us through these hard times,” Baber said.

“We are looking to have more game times and a possibility of tournaments in September that will help the players in the preparations. These are very important for build-up to the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” he said.

As defending Olympic 7s gold medal winners, their road to Tokyo is boosted with the 70 per cent winning rate in 30 matches during the 2019/2020 HSBC Sevens Series.

They should maintain the consistency; Baber and his team will be working hard for the next few months to retain gold.

“This is an opportunity to get a couple of players back from injury to essentially strengthen and develop some of the other players that have come into the programme this season pushing for selection.

“If it does in fact turn out the way World Rugby is looking, we will be ending up playing 15 tournaments – four that we got at the end of this season plus the 10 that we play normally plus the Olympics,” he sid.

“We have 15 tournaments from September to next July. No team has ever done that.

“I believe the task is that we really need to focus on being able to take this group of players, increasing the number that have to steer our way through that season which is going to take 14 World Series tournaments plus the Olympics.”

The postponed games mean Baber has more time to polish and sharpen up his players for the Olympic Games.

“We had some positives out of the Los Angeles and Canada 7s tournaments to back up our pursuit for that gold medal in Tokyo next year.”

Edited by Rosi Doviverata

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj

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