Media zone star Ruby Tui fulfills her dream as New Zealand win women’s rugby sevens gold

The Black Ferns banish memories of their loss to Australia in the Rio 2016 final as they clinch the only title missing from their collection

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Rugby Sevens - Women - Medal Ceremony - Tokyo Stadium - Tokyo, Japan - July 31, 2021. New Zealand players perform the haka dance after receiving gold medals. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov
Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Rugby Sevens - Women - Medal Ceremony - Tokyo Stadium - Tokyo, Japan - July 31, 2021. New Zealand players perform the haka dance after receiving gold medals. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

New Zealand’s all-conquering women’s rugby sevens team were crowned Olympic champions on Saturday on the last day of the rugby competition at the Tokyo Stadium in Chofu.

Ruby Tui gained notoriety for her fine displays at Tokyo 2020 but also for her off field work in the mixed zone where an interview with a British broadcaster quickly went viral on social media.

Tui, 29, wowed viewers as she spoke Japanese, Samoan, Maori and English during the interview and her charm and charisma as well as her rich New Zealand values shone through.

The Black Ferns banished their memories of their loss to Australia in the Rio 2016 final as they clinched the only title missing from their collection as they added to their Rugby World Cup Sevens, World Series Trophy and Commonwealth Games gold medals.

New Zealand defeated France 26-12 with a solid performance including some sublime scores to claim an emotional win and they performed a special haka to mark the occasion.

“Emotions are good, right? I’m so happy, so proud,” said the in-demand prop.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Rugby Sevens - Women - Pool A - New Zealand v Russian Olympic Committee - Tokyo Stadium - Tokyo, Japan - July 30, 2021. Ruby Tui of New Zealand in action. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Rugby Sevens - Women - Pool A - New Zealand v Russian Olympic Committee - Tokyo Stadium - Tokyo, Japan - July 30, 2021. Ruby Tui of New Zealand in action. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

“We had a dream and winning silver just didn’t feel the right way for this team to bow out.

“I have looked at my silver medal (from Rio 2016) every day since I have been here. I will never forget the person I was when we won silver because I have had a complete change in the person I was then in order to win this gold.

“The gold is a metaphor for a dream about positive thinking. It is not just the gold medal but how we have grown since. You just have to believe,” Tui concluded.

Fiji beat Great Britain 21-12 to win bronze despite a brace of tries from Welsh-speaking captain Megan Jones who has represented England since 2015.

Hosts Japan finished 12th after being humbled by Brazil 21-12 and there will no doubt need to be a lengthy review of their sevens program which has faltered in recent years while their 15s game has flourished.

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