Kenya 7s Stun South Africa To Qualify For Paris 2024 Olympics

17th September 2023

Shujaa recorded a famous 17-12 victory to book the automatic ticket to Paris 2024.

Shujaa pose after qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympics. PHOTO| Rugby Afrique
Shujaa pose after qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympics. PHOTO| Rugby Afrique
  • Shujaa beat the South Africans 17-12 to clinch the African title.
  • Patrick Odongo scored two tries with John Okoth adding the third effort.
  • Shujaa automatically book their ticket to the Paris 2024 Olympics as the African representatives.

The men’s national rugby 7s side, Shujaa, have booked their ticket to a third successive Olympic Games after stunning rugby powerhouse South Africa 17-12 in the Rugby Africa 7s Cup final played on Sunday evening in Harare, Zimbabwe.

A brace from youngster Patrick Odongo and John Okoth helped Shujaa book the automatic ticket that was only reserved for the winners of the African competition.

The Kevin ‘Bling’ Wambua coached side were the first to record points on the scoreboard when Odongo unleashed his pace once again before touching down under the posts to help Kenya to a 7-0 lead following Tony Omondi’s successful conversion.

The Blitzboks however had an instant riposte that came through Selvyn Davids who sliced through the Kenyan defence to reduce the deficit to 7-5 following a missed conversion.

The South Africans took a first-time lead minutes later when Christie Grobelaar made the Kenyans pay for gifting the ball away cheaply as he touched down a converted try.

The effort however came at a cost as he had to be substituted immediately after for what looked like an injury as South Africa led 7-12 at the break.

In the second half, Odongo was on hand again to restore parity as he exploited space out wide, beating his markers for pace to tie the game at 12-12.

With the momentum on their side, Kenya took advantage as Okoth touched down at the corner after Shujaa sucked the South Africans in the middle of the pitch before playing out wide, Kenya retaking a 17-12 lead.

What remained was for Kenya to see out the remaining two minutes and despite failing to do so with just seconds to go when they knocked on the ball to gift the Blitzboks possession, they managed to force a turnover after the hooter had sounded to seal the crucial win.

As a result, Kenya now qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics as the African representatives following their victory.

South Africa and dethroned champions Uganda, who beat Zimbabwe 24-12 to clinch third spot, will have to go through a final qualification Repechage tournament in June 2024 where they will join teams from Asia, Europe, Oceania, North America and South America with the winner of that event taking the 12th and final slot to the Olympics.

Kenya now join France, New Zealand, Argentina, Fiji, Australia, Uruguay, Ireland and USA in the Paris line-up.

The final three places will be decided via the Oceania and Asia qualification tournaments and the Olympic repechage tournament.

Cup Quarters

QF1 | Kenya 26-0 Burkina Faso

QF2 |Zimbabwe 26-10 Madagascar

QF3 |Zambia 15-29 Uganda

QF4 | South Africa 27-0 Nigeria

Cup Semis

SF 1 | Kenya 35-10 Zimbabwe

SF 2| Uganda 14-26 South Africa

Bronze Medal Playoff

Zimbabwe 12-24 Uganda

Gold Medal Match

Kenya 17-12 South Africa