Samoa’s Olympic Heavyweight Judoka, Nanai Derek Sua secured gold medal at the Oceania Judo Championship when he beat his opponent in the 100kg+ men’s category in the finals.
The event was held on the 28-29 April in Nukualofa, Tonga.
In an email from the President of the Judo Association of Samoa, Travis Lamb, he said there were 11 nations participating in the event including Samoa with strong teams sent by the South Pacific Judo powerhouse nations such as Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia.
“Nanai, who is also one of the national coaches of Team Samoa Judo, was very happy with his win which he dedicated to Samoa,” said Mr. Lamb.
“I am pleased to have been able to secure the gold for Samoa and to honour my coach, Sensei Fubuki Eguchi, who has been a great support and mentor to me,” said Nanai.
“Another highlight of the event was the 17 year old Tristan Va’ai who was able to get a bronze medal in male cadets (under 18 years) -73kg category.
“The young Tristan Va’ai, who will turn 17 this month, competed in both the cadet’s category and the junior category (under 20 years).
“Team Samoa Judo National Coach, Fubuki Eguchi, advised that there were strong teams fielded from Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia in the cadets and junior categories and that Tristan did extremely well to hold his own against more experienced competitors.
“This experience of competing against stronger ranked countries will be of great value to Tristan in the future” said Fubuki Eguchi.”
Mr. Lamb was delighted with both Nanai and Tristan Va’ai.
“I am very proud of both Nanai Derek Su’a and Tristan Vaai’s performances and results and this is a tribute to the hard work put in by both Judoka and your coach, Fubuki Eguchi,” he said.
“On behalf of the Judo Association of Samoa we would like to thank the great support we have received from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (J.O.C.V.) and from our kind sponsors Saletoga Sands Resort and Spa owners Gavin and Lou Brightwell who helped with funding to attend the Oceania Championships.
“The goal for Team Samoa Judo in 2017 is to build on the success of Nanai Derek Su’a and Tristan Va’ai by sending more atheletes to compete in the Auckland Judo Open in July and the Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu in December 2017.
“Anyone interested in finding out more about the sport of Judo is welcome to attend the judo training which is held Monday to Thursday each week at the Apia Park Gymnasium. Children’s classes are from 4.00pm – 5.15pm and the adult’s classes are from 5.30pm – 7.00pm.
“The winning pair will arrive back in Samoa today with their coach.