FIJI Judo Association’s medal winning performance in the Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu has rekindled efforts to regain prominency in the sport internationally.
Association president Nacanieli Takayawa, a former Commonwealth No.1 and Olympian, said bringing back three medals from Vanuatu was a good achievement.
Shanice Takayawa won two gold medals —— one in the senior women’s heavyweight open division and one in the 70kg category —— while Nathalyn Takayawa settled for a silver medal in the senior women’s U63kg .
“I believe it was a successful outing for us. Just about two months prior to the event, we found out that judo was included in the games. With that in mind, we sent a team of athletes who stood a strong chance to win medals,” Nacanieli said.
With judo not included in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia, Takayawa said they would target was the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan and the 2019 Pacific Games Samoa.
“For Fiji, our target is the 2020 Olympic Games. It is unfortunate that judo is not part of the Commonwealth Games, but there are other international events which will assist in the qualifying process and we want to field a full team for the 2019 Pacific Games.
“Athletes from the mini games will go back to Japan to prepare for upcoming tournaments along with Tevita Takayawa, who is participating in grandslam events.”
Nacanieli thanked Sun Insurance, Kundan Singh Supermarket, Safety Security Services, Government, Japan, Fiji National Sports Commission, Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) and Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) for supporting his association.
Story and photo Fiji Times