An insight into the year 2020 from Fijian judo athlete, Tevita Takayawa

Fijian Judo athlete, Tevita Takayawa, gives us an update as to how his sport has fared during the COVID-19 interrupted year of 2020.  Takayawa is a fourth-year Business Law student, studying at Ryutsu Keizai University in Japan.

1. Updates on events being cancelled, postponed or re-scheduled?

The International Judo Federation’s World Judo Tour has just resumed at the Budapest Grand Slam in October. They have very strict COVID protocols in place, with safety being the main priority, and we will adjust accordingly to the new norm.

2. Return to play protocols and ‘little wins’ for your sport?

The International Judo Federation (IJF) released the IJF COVID Protocols during the Budapest Grand Slam to ensure safety for all athletes, coaches and staff, enabling them to compete in a safe environment. The pandemic has allowed athletes to rest their body for a longer period of time, rather than being constantly on the road chasing Olympic qualifying points.

3. How has your sport/athletes have managed their physical and mental health throughout this period?

I am a fourth-year Bussines Law student at the Rytusu Keizai University in Japan. The second quarter of the year was spent doing my own personal training in Japan, and then we resumed judo practice in August after almost three months of lockdown.

Mentally, it gave me a lot of time to self reflect and re-ignite my passion for judo while continuing on my journey towards qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.

4. How has your sport/athletes have in fact taken advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic?

I have used this time away from competition to recover from knee surgery I had back in December. Doing rehab and slowly transitioning into judo training without rushing into competition was a positive I could take out of this challenging time.  I look forward to continuing the road to Olympic qualification.