Olympics-Japan's Kuwai returns to Games as rugby ref


  • Rugby
  • Thursday, 09 May 2024

FILE PHOTO: 2016 Rio Olympics - Rugby - Deodoro Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 07/08/2016. Ano Kuwai (JPN) of Japan evades a tackle by Janet Awino (KEN) of Kenya to score a try. REUTERS/Phil Noble (BRAZIL)/File Photo

(Reuters) - Japan's Ano Kuwai will take part in her second Olympics in July with a whistle rather than a rugby ball in hand after being named in the 23-strong squad of match officials for the Sevens tournament in Paris.

Kuwai, who scored Japan's first try in the inaugural Sevens tournament at the 2016 Rio Games, will become the first person to play and referee in an Olympic tournament.

"Ever since I switched from being a player to being a referee three years ago, I have been working toward the goal of being on the pitch at the Olympics," she said in a Japan Rugby Football Union statement.

"I will do my best to live up to everyone's expectations and contribute in any small way to the development of Japanese rugby."

Kuwai is one of six women who will officiate in the July 24-30 tournament at the Stade de France in Paris.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)

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