16 Nov 2012

Sport: judo event vital for sport's development

12:04 pm on 16 November 2012

The director of this week's Judo World Cup event in Apia says hosting events such as this in the Pacific is vital for the development of the region's top athletes.

The World Cup event is the first major tournament since the London Olympics and more than 130 competitors taking part.

The President of Judo Association of Samoa, Francois Martel, who is also the competition director in Apia, says because of Oceania's geographical isolation, having events in their own backyard is a big deal.

"With more competition like the one we're doing with more exposure they get to overseas athletes -and this is kind of rare - because most of our athletes travel to basically two competitions a year compared to say the Europeans who, at very low cost, can travel across 25 countries and do competitions almost 20 a year - so that's a big difference in terms of exposure to overseas athletes for our Pacific Islanders."

The preliminary matches in Apia on Friday with the finals on Saturday.