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Naulu Eyes Rio

Josateki Naulu is preparing the Oceania Open in Wollongong, Australia on November 13-14. Naulu said there were a few tournaments he had to participate in before qualifying for the Rio
28 Oct 2015 14:17
Naulu Eyes Rio
Josateki Naulu (left), taking part in 2012 London Olympics.

Josateki Naulu is preparing the Oceania Open in Wollongong, Australia on November 13-14.

Naulu said there were a few tournaments he had to participate in before qualifying for the Rio Olympics.

“There are quite a lot of tournaments that carries Olympic points but due to limited funding we cannot afford to go to every one of these tournaments,” Naulu said.

He was a member of Team Fiji to the London Olympic Games in 2012 and in 2013 he was placed 7th at the Miami Grand Prix in 2013.

This year he was placed 2nd at both the Oceania Judo Championship and the Asia Judo Open in Taiwan.

He said he was fortunate of the support he was receiving from the Oceania Sports Support Organisation.

The experienced judoka has been an Oceania Champion in 2006 and 2012 and is currently on a IOC Olympic Solidarity Scholarship.

He has also participated at the Pacific Games in 2011 and the Oceania Judo Championship in Cairns, Australia in 2012 where he was placed 1st in both tournaments.

“They have been hands on with my training programme here in Japan,” he said.

Josateki Naulu has acknowledged the support he has from family, friends, the national federation and FASANOC as he pushes for a spot in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

“My family and extended family have been very supportive since day one,” said Josateki.

“I’m forever grateful for their support and also thanks to FASANOC, especially Lyndall Fisher who has been tirelessly working behind the scenes to get us to these qualifying tournaments.”

“I sacrificed a lot especially being away from family to make the London Olympics in 2012 and it’s the same trying to qualify for Rio 2016.”

He said it was a childhood dream to compete at the Olympic Games and that the road has been tough but definitely worth it.”

He also thanked the Fiji Judo Association which, like a lot of other sports federation in the country has been struggling with funding.

“But we make do with what we get,” he said.

“Training has been tough but it is something I am prepared to go through to qualify for Rio.”

Feedback: paulini.ratulailai@fijisun.com.fj

 

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