'I’m really feeling confident': Emma Tonegato cleared of injury as Olympic sides head to Tokyo

Mon, 19/07/2021, 05:00 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Emma Tonegato has confirmed she has made a full recovery from injury. Photo: Getty Images

Emma Tonegato has confirmed she is recovered from injury as the men's and women's Olympic Sevens teams leave for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Tonegato made her first appearance in over 12 months when she played for Australia in the Oceania Sevens Tournament in Townsville after recovering from a shoulder injury.

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Having got valuable match fitness under her belt, the 26-year-old is confident she has overcome the 'niggle' and will be ready for their opening match on July 29.

“The last few weeks of training have been really good so I’m really feeling confident heading into Tokyo,” she said.

“Getting injured is the nature of sport and it was just a little niggle, nothing major. We just wanted to double check everything and it’s all be cleared.

“I’ve been training this week as normal so I’m really looking forward to it.

“I’m happy that I’ve played in that Townsville Oceania tournament and it’s been a long time coming so I’m looking forward to going over there and doing our best.”

Tonegato and the teams left their base in Sydney for Tokyo on Monday morning, with the women's side looking to claim back-to-back gold medals.

She believes they head to the Olympics with a perfect mix of youth and experience, confident they have built the necessary combinations to defend their crown.

“We’d love to defend that title and we’ve been training really hard. I feel like we’re finally getting our combinations together,” Tonegato believes.

“We have a new team and some young girls that have some awesome talent. I think we have a really good mix of experience and those young players so I think we’ve been building nicely and we’re ready to explode when we go over there.”

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They have been drawn alongside hosts Japan, China and the USA in Pool C.

The United States looms as the major threat out of the pool, having finished second in the World Series in 2019-20 along with holding Australia to a 12-all draw in the pool stages at Rio in 2016.

Tonegato, who scored both tries in that draw, was quietly confident they could deal with the challenges they will throw up as they look for an automatic spot in the quarter-finals.

“The home team (Japan) will be quite passionate and they’ll have that home-town advantage,” she said.

“China’s a team we haven’t seen much on it in the World Series so they’ll be a bit of a surprise.

“Obviously, USA are quite strong as well that’ll probably be our toughest game but we’ve been reviewing that and feel quite confident heading into that one.”

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