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, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
Pool 0
Team P W D L Pts
Spain Sevens 0 0 0 0 20
Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 0 1
South Korea 0 0 0 0 0
Pool 00
Team P W D L Pts
Uruguay 0 0 0 1 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
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 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