Colombia underlined its rapid progress in rugby sevens by striking gold in both the men's and women's competitions at the CACSO Games in Veracruz, Mexico.

The Central American and Caribbean Games is a multi-sport regional championship held every four years for countries in Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico, Bermuda, and certain countries in the northern part of South America.

The games are overseen by the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organization (CACSO) and provide an important stepping stone between individual regional events and the Summer Olympics.

With rugby sevens set to make its Olympic debut in Rio in 2016, awareness of the sport and investment in its playing structures and numbers are booming, including in these countries.

The 2014 games was also notable for featuring both men's and women's rugby sevens, and the six medals were shared between four nations. Colombia took both gold medals, while Mexico (men) and Venezuela (women) took silver and Trinidad & Tobago (men) and Mexico (women) bronze. 

"It has been wonderful to see these countries' men's and women's athletes playing alongside each other on this elevated stage for the first time," said World Rugby Regional General Manager in the region, Tom Jones.

"With rugby set to make its Olympic debut in Rio in just two years' time, the excitement and buzz around sevens is unprecedented and that has also been reflected in the level of competition we have seen across the board.

"A few years ago some of these nations would not have been in a position to compete at this level. Here this weekend they have been wonderful ambassadors for our game and I would like to congratulate them all - especially Colombia, who deservedly took both gold medals."    

The next edition will take place in 2018 in Barranquilla, Colombia.

CACSO Games results (external)