Joe Mahit poses with Coach Brett Wright of Powerhouse Performance (PHP) -Vanuatu Strength and Conditioning.

The daily dream of an athlete is to compete in an Olympic Games! Local athlete Judoka Joe Mahit is one of those privileged to wake up and to actually get the chance to compete at Rio Olympics – which is the ultimate pinnacle of modern day sporting competition.

Joe was undergoing his usual rounds to prepare for a fighting chance for qualification at Rio Olympic Games when he got official information of his successful qualification to participate at Rio Olympic Games.

Local Judo enthusiast and sport ambassador is expected to live the dream of a lifetime at the Rio Olympics. Joe Mahit who represents Vanuatu Judo Federation hails from the island of Paama in the Malampa Province. A soft spoken Joe began living his dream through Judo the age of 17, way back in 2010. Today he is proudly decorated with a Black Belt.

“My life goals are always revolving around setting benchmarks: to achieve top 10 status in the world in Judo; to Qualify for the Olympic Games, to Qualify for another Commonwealth Games and to continue improving.

“Having being the first fighter from Vanuatu to ever win a place at the Commonwealth Games, I have set one of the highest goal in my life which is to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games and win a Gold medal for my country at the Pacific Mini Games, and Developing Judo in Vanuatu and become a successful Sensei and technical director of Judo. Judo is a relatively new sport to this country and I would like to develop the sport deeper and further”, Joe Mahit states.

Daily sport received the confirmation for Joe Mahit’s participation at Rio Olympics through the Vanuatu Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (VASANOC) whereby International Judo Federation that Judoka Joe Mahit was qualified on merit under the Oceania Continental Quota, for the Rio2016 Olympics.

Vanuatu’s Nazario Fiakaifonu was selected to represent Vanuatu at the London Olympic in 2012.

Daily sport asked Joe Mahit as to what are the underlying factors to his penultimate success which led to his selection to compete at the Rio Olympics, “Having the passion to compete and representing my country is the what drives me more than anything else”, Joe replied.

Currently Judoka Joe is part of the Junior Development Program, working with children from the ages of 3 – 12 years, and has an opportunity to work with Senior Judoka when his Sensei is not available. Amata Fiakaifonu is the highest ranked Female Judoka, but due to other personal commitments, means she was not available to be selected.

“Judo is for everyone! Anyone can Judo, both male and female, child or adult because Judo is a great sport involving discipline and respect, allowing extensive travel for competition and is great to experience new places and meet new friends.

“The venue for training in Port Vila is EX-FOL where training times are 1800 – 1930, Tuesday and Thursday’s at a cost of 150VT for Ni-Vanuatu”, said Judoka Mahit.

Joe Mahit is a fine example of Vanuatu athlete commitment and dedication. It is an inspiration too for our athletes in this generation. It is without doubt a huge accomplishment for Ni-Vanuatu athletes, something they can be proud of, if they put in the hard yards they can be able to live their dreams and pursue their goals.

Joe Mahit is expected to compete in the 66kg division, and he is being trained and supervised by Coach Brett Wright of Powerhouse Performance (PHP) -Vanuatu Strength and Conditioning.

Raymond Nasse

Sports Editor


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