South Korean rugby’s bid to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games after Tokyo 2020 has come up short.
Lee Myung-geun’s sevens rugby team finished fifth in the Asian qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games at the Yodoko Sakura Stadium in Osaka, Japan, on Aug. 18-19 and failed to qualify.
Korea qualified for its first-ever Olympic Games at the Tokyo 2020 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, in 2019, but failed to qualify for the second consecutive edition.
A total of nine teams, including Korea, China, Japan, Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Singapore, Thailand, India, and Iraq, were scheduled to compete in the qualifier to determine the winner, who will advance directly to the Olympic Games in Paris next July.
The second- and third-place finishers will also receive a ticket to an intercontinental qualifier to be announced at a later date.
Eight teams were scheduled to compete in three groups of three, minus the team with the worst group performance, but Iraq’s last-minute withdrawal from the tournament led to the change to four teams competing in two groups, with the top two teams advancing to the quarterfinals.
In their three Group A games on Aug. 18, South Korea defeated China (29-19) and India (43-0), but fell to Japan 0-34.
Japan also beat Korea and India, but suffered an upset 14-21 loss against China to go 2-1.
Coincidentally, China had also defeated India, so all three teams were tied with two wins and one loss, but Korea fell to third place on goal difference and failed to qualify for the quarterfinals.
This ended the team’s chances of qualifying for the Paris Olympics, as it was no longer possible for them to finish second or third, let alone first.
The team had to take solace in the fact that they swept aside Singapore (33-0) and Thailand (38-0) in separate tournaments played by teams that failed to qualify for the quarterfinals on the 19th to secure the final fifth place.
It was a disappointment for a team that won a silver medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games in September and October, losing 7-14 in the final to Hong Kong, one of Asia’s strongest teams.
With the exception of Jung Yeon-sik (Hyundai Globis), none of the Asian Games squad was available for the qualifiers due to a rash of injuries at the National Games held immediately after the tournament. 먹튀검증