Text & Picture: World Rugby
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games organising committee has announced session times for the men’s and women’s rugby sevens competitions.
As previously announced, the sevens will take place at the iconic Tokyo Stadium, a Rugby World Cup 2019 host venue, from 27 July-1 August.
In a reverse to the Rio 2016 schedule, the men’s competition will be played first over three days from 27-29 July with the women’s competition taking place from 30 July-1 August and culminating with the gold medal session on ‘Super Saturday’.
The organising committee has confirmed that there will be two sessions on each competition day. The morning session will kick-off at 09:00 JST and run until 12:00 JST and the evening session will begin at 16:30 and finish at 19:00. The medal matches will take place in the evening sessions.
The times have player welfare at heart, avoiding the peak heat of the Japanese summer time.
Information regarding the ticketing programme, including the on-sale date for fans, will be announced by the Tokyo 2020 organising committee on Thursday, 18 April.
Rugby sevens was a highlight of a spectacular Rio 2016 Olympic Games on debut, with Australia’s women and Fiji’s men winning gold medals – the first Olympic rugby medals since 1924.
The announcement of the schedule comes as the race to secure a ticket to Tokyo 2020 continues through the breath-taking and highly-competitive men’s and women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, with the top four nations from each competition set to qualify.
The remaining seven places for each competition will be determined via a global process of regional qualifiers and repechage competitions.
World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “The announcement of the session times for the Olympic Games rugby sevens events marks another exciting milestone on the road to Tokyo 2020.
“It is the moment when fans can truly start to plan. With a superb venue, the expectation of hugely-competitive events and the world’s best players on show, we are anticipating sevens to be extremely popular with fans in Japan.”
An action-packed Tokyo 2020 programme will feature a record 33 sports and 339 events and will run from 24 July-9 August.
Tokyo 2020 took an holistic approach when compiling the schedule, taking into account the technical rules and regulations of the various international federations, gender balance, athletes’ experience and well-being, the popularity of individual sports in Japan, global TV audiences and operational considerations.