New Zealand avenges Rio loss with first Olympic gold in rugby

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New Zealand claimed gold in rugby sevens, defeating France 26-12 on Saturday.

The victory served as redemption for New Zealand, who lost to Australia in the 2016 gold-medal game in Rio, the first Olympics for the sport.

“I will never forget the person I was when we won silver because I have had a complete change in the person I was then in order to win this gold,” New Zealand star Ruby Tui said after Saturday’s win.

Fiji joined New Zealand and France on the podium after defeating Great Britain in the bronze-medal game.

The United States finished sixth, losing to Australia 17-7 in a game coach Chris Brown called a “missed opportunity.”

“And that guts me,” he said, “because we played nine quarterfinals over the last year, and it’s the first one we lost.”