Newspaper article International New York Times

Sevens Team Delivers Fiji Its First Medal

Newspaper article International New York Times

Sevens Team Delivers Fiji Its First Medal

Article excerpt

Fiji beat its former colonial ruler, Britain, by 43-7 to win the inaugural men's rugby sevens competition.

It started in 1956, when five athletes, two sailors, two boxers and a discus thrower traveled to Melbourne for the Olympics. They represented Fiji, the South Pacific nation. None of them won a medal.

The result was the same at every subsequent Olympics, including a few forays into the Winter Games. At this year's soccer competition, Fiji lost its three games, 8-0, 5-1 and 10-0.

But there was hope. Rugby, Fiji's national sport, was being added to the Games for 2016. Fiji has advanced as far as the quarterfinals of the Rugby World Cup against much bigger and wealthier countries.

And the version being added, rugby sevens, with its faster play and smaller teams, suited a country like Fiji, with a population of only 900,000. …

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