FIJI captain Osea Kolinisau, who led his country to their first Olympic rugby sevens gold at the Rio Games in August, hailed the sports infrastructure in Doha as one of the bes t in the world.
“Doha has emerged as a top nation in terms of sports facilities and hosting major international competitions. I hope the Fiji team’s visit will be beginning of a long-lasting relationship with the Qatar Rugby Federation,” Kolinisau told Doha Stadium Plus.
The Fiji team will train in Doha to get acclimatised to the region before leaving on November 28 to compete in the Emirate Dubai 7s, which starts on December 1.
The players will also watch the Qatar sevens League finals at the Aspire ground on Friday.
Kolinisau, who scored the first try in his team’s 43-7 win over Great Britain in the final at Rio Games, said the Olympic triumph was the proudest moment of his life.
“It was the best moment in my life,” said Kolinisau, who felt the sevens was always tougher and more physical than 15s.
“The sevens isn’t an easy competition. It’s unpredictable, but intense and exciting where the first seven minutes can decide a team’s fate,” added the 30-year old, who also led his country to victory at the sevens World Series in 2013-14 season.
“The World Series Rugby Sevens is an exciting tournament where you interact with different people from various continents and cultures. Moreover, in this format, you’ve more space where you get to express yourself,” he said.
The 30-year old, who made his national team debut at the Dubai sevens in 2008, also said recovery was very important in a sevens competition.
“The first week is okay, but it becomes really tiring in the second.
“There’re chances of injury as well. It all depends on fitness trainers’ ability to rejuvenate players. The quicker the players regain energy, the better,” he said.
“A few years ago, Fijians and New Zealanders dominated the sport, but it isn’t the case anymore. The rise of teams like Kenya is a welcome trend. They qualified for the Rio Olympics and even though they were winless, they fought hard against the best,” added Kolinisau, who attended the Association of National Olympic Committees’ awards ceremony in Doha last week.
Surprisingly, despite his incredible performances at the Rio Olympics, Kolinisau missed out on the World Rugby Sevens player-of-the-year award, won by South Africa’s Seabelo Senatla.