BlitzBoks set sights on 2020 Olympics

Tue, 01 Nov 2016 08:02
Large neil powell 800

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: South Africa Sevens coach Neil Powell has set his team a goal of becoming the number one team in the world leading up to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The BlitzBoks claimed Bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympics with 54-14 over Japansafter their dream of winning a gold medal was shattered with a 5-7 defeat to Great Britain in the semifinals of the Sevens tournament.

Fiji went on to win their first-ever gold medal at the Olympic Games with a 43-7 victory over Great Britain in the gold medal match.

Fiji were the form team heading into this year's Olympic games after winning the 2015/2016 Sevens World Series tournament, while the BlitzBoks finished in second position on the final Sevens World Series standings.

With the 2016/2017 Series fast approaching and the first tournament taking place in Dubai in the first week of December, Powell knows the importance of establishing the BlitzBoks as the number one team in the world over the next four years, to give them confidence and belief heading into the 2020 Olympic Games.

"I think we definitely want to improve on our performances over the last three years," said Powell. 

"Second [on the World Series standings] in the last three years is definitely not good enough for us and not good enough for the public. Hopefully we can take that one more step and hopefully become the number one team in the world in the World Series next season. But obviously in saying that, it's not just going to happen," explained Powell.

Powell added that he is still waiting for the likes of Albertus Smith and Werner Kok to return to the team for pre-season training before he lays out his planning to the players on how he expects the team to go about their mission of becoming the world's best.

"We will still have our goals set for this season when we have everybody back. We are still waiting for Kwagga and Werner to get back after their break after the Currie Cup and then we will see what we can do and how we are going to go about on trying to be that number one team in the world.

"There is obviously the Commonwealth Games and Sevens World Cup in 2018 before we get to the Olympics in 2020, so plans are already in place to develop the youngsters and identifying the follow-up players for the guys that we think will not make it through to 2020," Powell added.

By Josh Isaacson

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 February 2018
Highlanders v Blues 06h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Reds 08h45 Melbourne
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 19h00 Irish Independent Park
Dragons v Edinburgh 19h30 Rodney Parade
Leinster v Kings 19h35 RDS
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
France v Italy 20h00 Paris
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Chiefs 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Bath v Sale Sharks 12h30 Recreation Ground
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Pool 0
Team P W D L Pts
Spain Sevens 0 0 0 0 20
Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 0 1
Pool 19
Team P W D L Pts
England Sevens 0 0 0 0 19
Pool 20
Team P W D L Pts
Uganda Sevens 0 0 0 0 2
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Fiji Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Australia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
France Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Kenya Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Russia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Team P W D L Pts
Wales Sevens