The Bay of Plenty-based New Zealand men’s rugby sevens team can guarantee themselves an Olympic medal this afternoon if they win their semi-final match.
The All Blacks Sevens, who base themselves out of Mount Maunganui’s University of Waikato Adams Centre for High Performance, are taking on Great Britain in the final four.
That match is scheduled to start at 2pm NZT.
Great Britain fought back from 21-points behind to beat the United States and book a date with the All Blacks Sevens.
Many of the current sevens players play their club rugby around the Bay of Plenty, at locations such as Ruatoki, Maketū and Kawerau.
A win will guarantee at least a silver medal, however the men have gold medal aspirations in sight.
The sevens men, who have several players who are also from the Bay of Plenty, will take on either reigning champions Fiji or Argentina in the final should they advance from their semi-final.
The gold medal match is scheduled to start at 9pm NZT at the Tokyo Stadium.
Should they lose, the All Blacks Sevens will play a bronze medal match.
The men’s sevens team came away from the previous Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro without a medal, after losing to perennial sevens powerhouses Fiji in the quarter-finals and will hope to prevent a repeat of that disappointment today.