Tevita and Shanice Takayawa had a strong outing at the 2022 Tahiti Oceania Open and Fiji Judo Association general secretary Josateki Naulu said the tournament was important as it offered Olympic qualifying points.
“The Tahiti Open was very important for both athletes because it had Olympic qualifying points,” Naulu said.
“It’s a step in the right direction for both of them and there are still a lot of tournaments to play to accumulate points. The next one will be in Perth in November and the next will be the Grand Slam in Tokyo, so it’s a busy schedule and every point is crucial when trying to qualify for the Olympics.
The Fiji Judo Association is planning to hold more local tournaments in the future and general secretary Josateki Naulu said it was a step in the right direction for the sport.
“The main purpose behind hosting these tournaments is to try and prepare for the Pacific Games next year,” Naulu said.
“We are trying to standardize our events so we will be making selections at these tournaments and today’s (Saturday) is one of the four tournaments we had planned. For the past few years, we only had one tournament to base our selection on.
Naulu said they hope to attract more potential judo athletes through these tournaments as it is not a well-known sport in the country.
“Organizing these type of tournaments is a good way to gain an audience and maybe more interested judo athletes. It was a good start here at the National Judo Center here in Nabua, but we hope to take it to the gym national FMF and other major sites when the numbers come in.
The London 2012 Olympian also took the time to acknowledge all the support the FJA has received from its partners in organizing these tournaments.
“Organizing this type of tournaments is not an easy task, and I thank the fans and parents for providing refreshments to the participants. We would also like to thank JICA and the FASANOC Medical Commission for their presence at the tournament. ‘today (Saturday).
The FJA plans to host the national championships in December, the date to be confirmed.