Kazan’s Central Stadium is hosting the Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Olympic Games Qualification Tournament on 13-14 July, gathering together 12 national teams. The winner automatically qualifies for Olympics 2020 to be held in Japan. Teams coming second and third will continue competing in the tournament’s next round called Repechage.
The list of main participants of the tournament was announced during the first leg of the Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Series in France on 29-30 June, where Team Russia ranked second after having lost to the hosts in the finals. Winners from five other European divisions got to participate in the qualifier in Kazan. As a result, Russia is receiving teams from France, Ireland, Spain, England, Poland, Italy, Germany, Moldova, Czech Republic, Romania, and Sweden.
“Kazan is hosting a major international tournament again; it is a grand event for us. I invite everyone to join this fascinating sports show and support the competitors from the stands”, said Deputy Minister of Sport of the Republic of Tatarstan Almaz Mingulov at the pre-tournament press conference.
He also reminded that semi-finals and finals of the Russian Federal Rugby League (men’s rugby 7s) are taking place during the Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Olympic Games Qualification Tournament.
“We are glad to come back to Kazan. The city is hosting rugby-7s competitions for the fifth time, so we are sure that most favourable conditions are offered to all of the teams. This year is a special one for all of them, since this weekend one team is getting the ticket to Olympics 2020 in Japan. So we can be sure that the teams will show everything they can do and treat the spectators to a truly intense battle on the field”, notes Marketing Manager at Rugby Europe Sébastien Faye.
“During the two upcoming competition days, we will watch 12 teams playing. On Saturday, 13 July, the play-off games programme starts at 11.00. Group A features France, Poland, Italy, and Moldova, Group B includes Russia, England, Sweden, and Germany. Spain, Ireland, Czech Republic, and Romania are in Group C. On 14 July, Sunday, the competitions will start at 10.00, the play-off series games. I would like to note once again, that only one team is getting the ticket to Olympics 2020. After that, other teams will continue competing in the tournament’s next round, Repechage”, commented Match Commissioner for the Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Olympic Games Qualification Tournament Veceslav Holvejac.
“Kazan has been among host cities of rugby tournaments in Russia for the past seven years, and now it is hard to imagine national or international competitions without Kazan as a host. Rugby is to be part of Olympics for the second time in contemporary history, and we are very much looking forward to it,” said Sports Director at the Russian Rugby Federation Sergey Markov.
“We are inviting everyone to the stadium to support the girls, since this tournament is crucial for all of us this year, we can’t afford making mistakes, and fans can help us greatly. The team is in good physical shape, and the team spirit is good too. We are going to play each game as the last one. All teams came here to win, but only one will. Getting the only one ticket to Tokyo is hard, but if you want to make it through to the Olympics at all, you will have to fight for the second or third place till the end”, told captain of the Russia women’s national rugby sevens team Alena Mikhaltsova.
In addition to an exciting sports show, visitors will enjoy many other activities, including the children’s’ trampoline playground with an obstacle course, giant chess, game area (featuring a rugby PlayStation game), rugby gate, where each visitor can try to score a goal, and prize draw. On 13 July, tournament’s Day 1, famous Udmurt singer and winner of international musical contests Marina Karpova will sing before the matches (performance starts at 12.45), and on 14 July, the folk dance ensemble “Kazan” will add some local flair to the event between games of Day 2 (performance starts at 13.00).
Admission to the tournament is free for spectators.
While the Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Grand Prix Series have been taking place in the capital of Tatarstan since 2015, Kazan is hosting an Olympics qualification tournament for the first time. Team Russia was the winner of the Rugby Europe Women’s Sevens Grand Prix Series held in Kazan in 2017 and 2018.
Media Department of Directorate for Sports and Social Projects