Mongolia was outscored 195-0 in the men's rugby sevens group stage, but coach Dashdendev Gansukh was still thrilled with his team's Asian Games debut.
Koji Wada of Japan (left) competes against Mongolia's Khuchit Nergui on Sunday. Japan won 55-0. [Photo/Agencies]
Mongolia has played in a 15-a-side Asian Games Rugby Union before it was cut from the program.
The team made its first appearance in the sevens in Guangzhou and was the only one not to advance to the quarterfinals.
Not that it worried Gansukh.
"We are very happy," he said. "It was really hard to prepare for this tournament as it's already below-zero temperatures in Mongolia and we don't have the facilities that are available in more developed countries.
"But we learned so much from this tournament and these guys are the future of Mongolia rugby. What they learned here they can teach the next generation."
Gansukh hopes to build a successful sevens platform in Mongolia, setting the scene for his country's future rugby union success.
Three of the current team, captain Khosbayar Ganbold, Gansaikhan Enhkbat and Delgerkhuu Tsegmed, have played union in Hong Kong, Korea and England respectively. And Gansukh played for Cardiff University in Wales for eight years.
But Gansukh said the transition to sevens calls for more speed, because pace proved to be the team's biggest handicap.
"In Mongolia, our national sport is wrestling, so that's why we have such strong forwards. But I think we need to find some sprinters as sevens is much a faster game," he said. "We need to get the guys to be fit."
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