By Gary Anderson
August 2 - In the final game of rugby sevens at the World Games in Cali before the sport makes it Olympic debut at Rio 2016, South Africa defeated Argentina in the gold medal match to complete a dominant run which saw them remain unbeaten during the two days of competition.
The South Africans win will go some way to easing the pain of their disappointing performance at the International Rugby Board (IRB) World Cup Sevens in Moscow in June, which saw them go down to Fiji in the quarter-finals.
Indeed, the Fijians may have provided sterner opposition for the Springboks at the World Games, but the Pacific Islanders did not make the trip to Colombia to defend the title they have monopolised, winning every title since Akita 2001.
As it was, Group A victories over hosts Colombia, Hong Kong and Canada followed by quarter-final and semi-final wins over Uruguay and France saw the Kaohsiung 2009 bronze medal winners' storm through to the final.
Group B winners Argentina also looked impressive on their run to the final as they recorded victories over Uruguay, Brazil, France, Colombia and Canada to set up a much anticipated showdown with the South Africans in the Pascual Guerrero Stadium.
The spectators were treated to a fine display of sevens in the final as both sides looked to end the tournament in style, but it was the Springboks side who eventually emerged on top.
Two tries from Seabelo Senatla (pictured top) and an influential display from returning captain Kyle Brown, who missed the first game of the tournament as he served the last of his three-game ban from the Moscow World Cup, helped them to a 33-24 win, after the teams were level 12-12 at half-time.
The Pumas had to settle for silver which represented their best performance at the World Games following bronze at Duisburg 2005.
"It's unreal," said a delighted South African coach Vuyo Zangqa afterwards.
"I think we answered SASCOC (South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee) President Gideon Sam's request for a medal in the best possible manner.
"I didn't tell them anything special before the match.
"They proved by their display in the semi-final that they were playing great rugby, they couldn't have improved much on that.
"My captain Kyle Brown proved that he is back to his best and the value of having experienced players here was invaluable.
"Now we must build on this going forward to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year and then obviously the Olympics."
Boks' skipper Brown paid tribute to the Cali supporters for their enthusiasm and is looking forward to making his Olympic debut in Rio.
"This was just amazing," he said.
The people, mainly non-rugby followers, were brilliant and made for a superb atmosphere.
"The noise at this stadium was just as loud as any World Cup match.
"I remember the last World Games in Taiwan when it poured with rain in our final match and we didn't play at all well.
"This more than makes up for that.
"And now we definitely have our eye on bigger things like the Olympics, in another South American country, in three years time."
Canada overcame France in the bronze medal encounter, while Hong Kong defeated Brazil to come fifth and hosts Colombia could not see off neighbours Uruguay to avoid the wooden spoon.
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July 2013: More than 4,500 athletes from over 100 countries set to compete in Cali World Games