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World Cup winner Kolbe eyes Olympic gold

Cheslin Kolbe scored twice as South Africa won the Rugby World Cup for a third time © AFP/File / Odd ANDERSEN

PARIS, France, Nov 25World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe said on Monday he would love to win the Olympic rugby sevens gold medal at Tokyo 2020 after he capped off an impressive year clinching the Top 14 player of the season award.

Kolbe, 26, lifted the Webb Ellis trophy with the Springboks earlier this month as well as the Rugby Championship in August after having helped his club Toulouse to the French domestic title in June.

“There are two more things I would still love to achieve and that’s probably winning the European Champions Cup and hopefully the Olympics with South Africa,” he said after the awards ceremony in Paris.

“I will keep on working hard and if there’s a door that opens or an opportunity that comes my way I’ll just make sure that I’m ready for whatever opportunities,” he added.

The Rio Olympic Games bronze medallist said he was yet to speak with Blitzbokke coach Neil Powell or other officials about re-joining the sevan-a-side set-up.

“I haven’t discussed it in person with SA Rugby. It’s something I would love to be a part of,”

“It’s another big event. It’s probably one of the biggest stages of rugby or sport. If it does it happen, it happens,” he added.

He made his international debut after joining Toulouse in 2017 and scored six tries in 16 league appearances before Ugo Mola’s side lifted the Bouclier de Brennus for a record-extending 20th time at the Stade de France.

“It’s been a phenomenal season, not just for me but for my club and for my country, winning the Top 14, The Rugby Championship and then World Cup in one year I’m really blessed,” Kolbe said.

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“I couldn’t have done this without all my team-mates. I give credit to all of them because if they didn’t create opportunities for me as a winger to finish off I wouldn’t be standing here now,” he added.

– Hat-trick for Kolbe –

South Africa Cheslin Kolbe won a bronze medal at the Rio Games after beating Japan © AFP/File / PHILIPPE LOPEZ

Kolbe also won the award for the best Top 14 player at the World Cup, beating Fiji’s Semi Radradra and France’s Damian Penaud as well as winning the award for the try of the campaign.

Clermont’s Penaud took the prize for the France international after ‘Les Bleus’ were knocked out of the World Cup in the quarter-finals.

Lyon’s 21-year-old centre Pierre-Louis Barassi, who made his Test debut during the tournament in Japan, won the young player of the season award.

Bayonne scrum-half Pauline Bourdon won the women’s player of the season award as France beat New Zealand’s Black Ferns for the first time.

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