Fiji erupts with joy at rugby sevens gold in Rio

"We reminded each other how God had taken us through the last two years and that the same God that we serve is here with us in Rio".

Fiji will have an extra public holiday to celebrate the country's first ever Olympic medal after its rugby sevens team won gold in Rio, Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama announced Friday.

There were plenty of reasons for the Irish to be cheerful after day six of the Olympics yesterday but for many viewers it was the Fijian rugby 7s team who stole the show.

Rugby 7 Squad of Fiji

Unsurprisingly, there are three of the gold medal winning Fiji side included - Josua Tuisova, Osea Kolinisau and Semi Kunatani - while South African Kyle Brown and Japan's Lomano Lemeki complete the selection. The Fijian team etched their names in the history books as they outplayed Great Britain 43-7 in the finale, sparking euphoria in the tiny island nation with dancing in streets, work forgotten and schoolwork abandoned.

The players dropped to their knees and prayed upon the outcome of the match. Many pointed to the sky before joining in wild celebrations.

Vanessa Coleman