The Dubai Sevens, starting today in the United Arab Emirates, will be the first major Sevens Rugby event since the sport was included into the family of Olympic sport.
However, another major Sevens event happens in Hong Kong this weekend. Rugby Sevens was a late inclusion as a medal-sport onto the program for the East Asian Games that officially starts in the Special Administrative Area (SAR) of China.
Organisers initially included Sevens as a demonstration sport, but after representation by the Hong Kong RFU, who is carrying the costs for the 2-day event at the Hong Kong Stadium, is was included as a fully-fledged competition.
International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge is expected to attend a lavish opening ceremony in the city’s Victoria Harbour tomorrow night, where Games organisers have spent HK$40 million on a spectacular lighting and fireworks display. Rogge will also be on hand at the Hong Kong Stadium on Sunday to present the medals to the winners of the IOC’s newest code, Rugby Sevens.
IOC President Jacques Rogge at the Beijing Olympics
Hosts Hong Kong, as well as Japan and South-Korea, are favorites for the gold medal.