By Greer Wilson
“Get ready to watch some incredible, unapologetically themselves, intelligent, strong women take the field,” Abby Gustaitis, co-captain of the U.S. women’s rugby sevens team, shared with “On Her Turf at the Olympics” co-hosts Lindsay Czarniak and MJ Acosta-Ruiz earlier this week. (Video of their conversation is embedded above.)
On the first day of women’s rugby competition in Tokyo, the U.S. defeated China 28-14 and then recorded a 17-7 win over Japan. The U.S. clinched a spot in the quarterfinal round with one game of pool play remaining (Thursday night in the U.S. at 9:30pm ET) against defending Olympic champion Australia.
Gustaitis also discussed the impact and growth of women’s rugby in the U.S., “It’s so exciting, America is the place for rugby sevens. I know Americans are going to fall in love with it. It’s exact same for men and women, which is one of the most exciting things.”
Before Gustaitis signed off, she shared her outlook when the future looks bleak. “I didn’t make the 2016 team for Rio, but I came back and I fought my way back in it and I’m here,” she said. “I just think you might not always stick with the path that you thought you were [on]. But as long as you’re doing it with everything you have, then just back yourself.”
U.S. Women’s Rugby Schedule – Tokyo Olympics
All dates and times on this schedule are listed in eastern daylight time (EDT), which is 13 hours behind Tokyo.
JULY 28: Women’s Rugby – USA vs. China (USA won 28-14)
JULY 29: Women’s Rugby – USA vs. Japan (USA won 17-7)
JULY 29: Women’s Rugby – USA vs. Australia (9:30pm ET, full TV schedule and live stream links here)
JULY 30: Rugby – Women’s Quarterfinal Round (3:30am ET, tune-in info here)
- Quarterfinal #1: 4:30am ET
- Quarterfinal #2: 5am ET
- Quarterfinal #3: 5:30am ET
- Quarterfinal #4: 6am ET
JULY 30: Rugby – Women’s Semifinal Round (8pm ET, tune-in info here)
JULY 31: Rugby – Women’s Medal Matches (3:30am ET, TV and live stream info here)
Don’t miss a moment: On Her Turf’s day-by-day guide to the Tokyo Olympics
During the Olympics, you can also catch up on all of the major storylines in women’s sports by watching “On Her Turf @ The Olympics,” a 30-minute show that streams for free on Peacock. Hosted by Lindsay Czarniak, MJ Acosta-Ruiz, and Lolo Jones, the show streams Monday-Saturday at 7pm ET and Sundays at 6pm ET. It is also available as a podcast.