Taiwan were on the receiving end of a pair of hidings in China yesterday, opening their Asia Rugby Sevens Series campaign with a 50-0 loss against Japan and a 37-5 drubbing from the hosts.
The weekend tournament in Qingdao saw Taiwan drawn in Group C with Japan and China, whose match-up resulted in an 21-7 victory for the visitors, who booked themselves a place in today’s Cup competition.
Taiwan’s results saw them into the Bowl division, in which they face the United Arab Emirates at 12:11pm today.
Photo courtesy of Kao Ping-sen, TWRUGBYPIX.com
Against Japan, Taiwan let through Jamie Henry and Teruya Goto for a brace each, while Dai Ozawa, Haruki Saito, Masakatsu Hikosaka and Shohei Toyoshima also dotted down in an eight-try steam-rolling.
In Taiwan’s second game, China scored through hat-tricks by Ma Chong and Jiang Liwei, while Chen Yonqiang and Wang Yakun scored one try each.
The lone scorer for Taiwan was Wei Li-han, with the replacement getting a consolation try against the hosts.
The Qingdao event is the first in the series, of which Hong Kong are the defending champions after sweeping all three tournaments last year.
A top-two finish in the Asian series would ensure a spot in the international qualifiers for the next HSBC Sevens World Series, which begins later this year.
Looming above all this season is the Asia Rugby Sevens Qualifier in November, which would put Asia’s sole men’s team through to next year’s Rio Olympics, where sevens is to debut.
The single-event Olympic qualifier is to be held in Hong Kong on Nov. 7 and Nov. 8, involving 12 regional teams, including Taiwan, the Philippines, Singapore, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Iran and Kazakhstan.
The China Sevens is also the opening tournament of the Asia Rugby Women’s Sevens Series, the first of two events that serve as the prelude to a two-leg qualification series for the Olympics.
Eight Asian women’s teams are taking part in both the series and Olympic qualifiers: Hong Kong, China, Japan, Kazakhstan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Uzbekistan.
Kosovo Olympic authorities have asked the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to open disciplinary proceedings against Novak Djokovic, accusing the Serb of stirring up political tension by saying “Kosovo is the heart of Serbia” at the French Open. Djokovic wrote the message on a camera lens following his first-round win on Monday, the same day that 30 NATO peacekeeping troops were hurt in clashes with Serb protesters in the Kosovo town of Zvecan where Djokovic’s father grew up. “Kosovo is our cradle, our stronghold, center of the most important things for our country,” 36-year-old told Serbian media. Serbian authorities said 52 protesters were wounded
China has long been the sleeping giant of men’s tennis, but on Monday the giant stirred as Shanghai trailblazer Zhang Zhizhen advanced to the second round of Roland Garros. One of three Chinese men in the draw, Zhang became the first from the nation to win a main draw match at Roland Garros in 86 years after Serbian opponent Dusan Lajovic retired due to illness when trailing 6-1, 4-1. Compatriots Shang Juncheng and Wu Yibing bowed out in defeat, but 26-year-old Zhang has a big chance to go further when he takes on Argentine qualifier Thiago Agustin Tirante for a place in
Novak Djokovic seemed ready to move on from non-tennis issues at the French Open on Wednesday, while two of the four Taiwanese at the tournament advanced in the women’s doubles, with one due to play last night. Serbia’s Djokovic beat Marton Fucsovics of Hungary 7-6 (7/2), 6-0, 6-3 in the second round of the men’s singles and wrote on the lens of a TV camera — an autograph and a smiley face. It was quite different from what happened after his win on Monday, when Djokovic wrote in Serbian: “Kosovo is the heart of Serbia. Stop the violence.” He spoke about the matter
In a sprawling circuit near Mount Fuji, a humble Corolla running on liquid hydrogen has made its racing debut, part of a move to bring the technology into the racing world and to demonstrate Toyota’s resolve to develop green vehicles. Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda, resplendent in a fire-resistant racing uniform, was all smiles as he prepared to buzz around the circuit in the hydrogen-fueled Corolla. “This is a world first for a liquid-hydrogen car to race,” said Toyoda, a former Toyota chief executive officer, grandson of the automaker’s founder and a licensed race driver himself. “We hope it will offer another option