Marcos Moneta will be returning home a hero…
The 21-year-old Argentine rugby sevens player helped lead his Argentina rugby seven team to the bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games, after a shocking 17-12 win over Great Britain.
Moneta, who was making his Olympic debut at this year’s Summer Olympics, helped give Argentina is first medal of the games.
Argentina earned the win after tries from Lautaro Bazan Velez, the Games’ overall top try scorer Moneta, and Ignacio Mendy.
It’s a monumental achievement for former sevens star-turned-coach Santiago Gomez Cora, who crashed out in the quarters in Brazil as a player.
It’s also the first ever Olympic medal for Argentina in rugby sevens.
Moneta scored six tries in his country’s successful Tokyo 2020 campaign including a sparkling effort against Great Britain in the bronze medal match to spark wild scenes amongst the jubilant Argentina delegation.
Moneta knows what this historic result will mean for the sport in his homeland.
“After football I think rugby is our top sport in Argentina, it’s a passionate sport, we have a professional rugby league, we have lots of children playing the game now.
“This bronze medal is for all the children who are playing the game in Argentina and all the fans who love rugby around the world.”
Argentina’s star man said it was team spirit which spurred the Pumas on to beat Great Britain to win bronze.
“I think the key to our victory was the team, our mentality, our spirit. The team was so united, we showed what we can achieve when we can play together.
“Our country is very passionate, we love rugby, football, tennis and many sports. It’s a pleasure to represent Argentina, when we put this jersey on we know we are representing our family, our friends, our clubs, our people and it’s the highest honor.
“Everyone got up at 5.30am to watch our medal match, I think our fans and our country will be euphoric and they won’t sleep for a while.”
Moneta also spoke about how difficult it was to prepare during the pandemic to play against the sport’s leading sevens nations.
“Preparation for the tournament was difficult, at times we could only train at our homes and we were doing sessions together on Zoom and Skype.
“Luckily we could play some tournaments before the Games like the Madrid sevens. Our minds were focused on the Olympics, that was our main objective to get onto the podium.”