The Chinese women's rugby sevens has achieved its goals after finishing in 12th place at the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 in San Francisco on Saturday, according to team manager Jia Jipo.
"The result of the game matched the performance of our team as the 12th seeds who qualified for the tournament after eliminating South Africa 31-14 in the final of the Hong Kong Sevens in April," Jia told Xinhua on the sidelines of the Saturday's games.
China lost the 11th place match 38-0 against Fiji, with Jia noting the Pacific islanders were strong rivals and were a tough nut to crack, despite having analyzed their potential weaknesses.
Jia also pointed out the physical differences between Chinese and foreign players, noting that China's women's sevens team looks to focus on delicate ball skills and dexterity of movement, in contrast with Western players who tend to be superior physically.
Jia, who took over as team manager in March, said that rugby sevens only has a history of about 20 to 30 years in China, having originally begun life on university campuses.
"We did not have a national rugby team until 2010, which means we have a very young team," Jia noted, adding that the Chinese players had worked very hard to seize the women's title at the 2014 Asian Games, and had also finished top in several other Asian tournaments.
Strong local opposition comes in the form of Japan, however, who defeated Fiji 15-14 to finish in 10th place on Saturday.
The 2018 tournament offers a good opportunity for the Chinese players to learn from other countries, and also analyze their own weak points that may have been exposed during the games in order to improve themselves in future competition, said Jia. "The earlier the problems were exposed, the better."
"The strong foreign teams can serve as a grindstone for the Chinese women sevens in their growth into a more powerful team, which can help attract more Chinese people and foster their interest in and love for rugby as a sporting event, so as to boost its further development in China."
Jia added that he hopes China will perform even better at the upcoming 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, and brace themselves for "the major test" of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
China's loss against Fiji on Saturday afternoon came after they had knocked out South Africa 29-5 in the Challenge Quarterfinals on Friday. However, they subsequently lost 38-0 to England in the Challenge Semifinals, setting up the tie with Fiji.
All the women's teams from 16 countries and regions completed their games on Saturday. The men's final will take place on Sunday.
The Rugby World Cup Sevens is held every four years. This is the first time the United States has hosted the Cup. The games were played at AT&T Park, home to Major League Baseball's San Francisco Giants.