13 Aug 2016

Sport: Fiji prepare big welcome home for 7s champions

9:28 am on 13 August 2016

Fiji's greatest ever sevens exponent says he's over the moon with pride after the country created history at the Rio Olympics.

The World Series champions thrashed Geat Britain 43-7 in Friday's final to add Olympic gold medal winners to their many accolades.

Fiji sevens legend Waisale Serevi.

Fiji sevens legend Waisale Serevi. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Waisale Serevi won the World Series and World Cup of Sevens during a decorated playing career and was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame.

The 48 year-old retired a decade ago but admits watching his countryman win gold made him want to be out there.

"I wish I was playing. This is the climax, this is the biggest event in the world sports calendar, the Olympics."

"I just thank god...and I thank the International Rugby Board for having faith in me and other former rugby players, going to the International Olympic Committee and bidding for rugby to be in the Olympics."

"I was one of them and I thank the IRB and rugby is played in the Olympics and it opened the door for Fiji to get a medal...I'm so proud of them," he said.

Fiji Rugby's Director of Women's sevens, Chris Cracknell, is an assistant coach with the men's team and said they delivered when it mattered most.

"Nothing much changed how we wanted to play really, we just executed in the final, and sometimes everything goes your way and in that final definitely the first half it did and the first couple of minutes in the second half as well it went our way."

"I just can't believe it - it's a dream come true and these boys are an absolutely amazing bunch of rugby players, bunch of men and they're heroes for their country now," he said.

Captain Osea Kolinisau say the result is for the their supporters back home and the whole of the Pacific.

Fiji's Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, said a wonderful reception awaits the team when they arrive back in Fiji next Sunday.

Gold medallists Fiji celebrate during the men’s rugby sevens medal ceremony during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Deodoro Stadium in Rio de Janeiro onAugust 11, 2016.

Gold medalists Fiji celebrate during the men’s rugby sevens medal ceremony during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Deodoro Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 11, 2016. Photo: AFP/Pascal Guyot

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