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No pain, no gain for Korea’s fledgling women’s rugby sevens team.
Rio is the target for Korea’s new rugby generation

27 Jul 2010
Guangzhou, China: There’s no time like the present to start training for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. This is the case with the newly-formed women’s rugby sevens team of the Republic of Korea, who made their debut in international competition in Guangzhou over the weekend. The occasion was the “PICC” 2010 Asian Women’s Rugby Sevens Championship at the Main Stadium of Guangzhou University Town – venue for the 16th Asian Games rugby competition in November.

The distinctive Korean colours were familiar, but the faces were not as the team was formed just one month ago with the aim of qualifying for the 2016 Olympics, when rugby returns to the Summer Games programme in the attractive seven-a-side format for both men and women.

“We are getting ready for the 2016 Olympic Games and for the Asian Games at the end of this year,” said head coach Moon Young-Chan.

“We had a test in June and started the team only on July 1. We have found here that the level is really high and we have a lot to learn, especially in fitness which is so important for sevens rugby.”

Moon explained that six of his squad for the Asian championship on July 24-25 touched a rugby ball for the first time on July 1, as they have been recruited from other sports such as taekwondo, soccer and track and field sprinters.

With Olympic medals on offer in 2016, the Koreans are seeking as much international exposure and experience as possible – and the 16th Asian Games in November will be just another early step along the way.

“The Korea Rugby Union is aware of all the competitions coming up, and they will make the final decision on our programme,” said Moon, who played club rugby in Japan during his own career.

It’s a long road ahead – but the Koreans will tackle it with their customary fiery ambition and spirit.
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