Jovesa Naivalu

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Jovesa Naivalu
Personal information
Birth name Jovesa Seuseu Naivalu
Born 19 March 1978
Lautoka, Fiji
Height 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Weight 63 kg (139 lb)
Sport
Country Fiji
Sport Track and Field
Event(s) 110 metres hurdles,
400 metres hurdles
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) 110 m hurdles: 13.82 (NR)
400 m hurdles: 51.67 (NR)
Updated on 28 April 2013.

Jovesa Seuseu "Jojo" Naivalu (born 19 March 1978)[1] is a Fiji-American athlete.

Biography[edit]

Naivalu was born 19 March 1978 in Lautoka, Fiji.

In the sport of athletics, Naivalu is the Fiji national record holder in both the 110 metres hurdles and the 400 metres hurdles. He represented his native country at the 1996 Summer Olympics and the 1996 World Junior Championships in Athletics in the 110 metres hurdles. In the sport of rugby union he represented the United States from 2000–2004 winning 10 caps[2] He also represented the United States in Rugby Sevens.[3] During the 2008/09 season he played for Frankfurt SC in the Rugby-Bundesliga in Germany, making 15 appearances for the club.[4]

Naivalu moved to the United States in 1986. He competed for Fremont High School in Sunnyvale, California, winning the 110 metres hurdles at the CIF California State Meet in 1995 and 1996.[5] Based on his ability, he was selected to the small Fiji Olympic team that year.[6] The Olympic hurdles are 3" higher than they are in high school. Naivalu finished 6th in his qualifying heat in the 110 metres hurdles running against the big boys of the sport, including then world record holder Colin Jackson.[7] Running hurdles he was used to, a month later he took a bronze medal at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Athletics.

The following year, he set the Fijian National record of 13.82 (+0.3) in the 110 metres hurdles in the qualifying round of the IAAF World Championships. He competed in the 1999 and 2003 (South) Pacific Games, winning the 110 hurdles and finishing second in the 400 metres hurdles, setting the national record 51.67 in the latter in 1999 at Santa Rita, Guam.[8]

He turned down a scholarship to the University of North Carolina and the Fiji Olympic Committee wasn't doling out money to support athletes, so Naivalu followed his brother Saimoni into the world of professional Rugby, playing for the San Jose Seahawks. Still making a pittance, $300 a game, he had to work security for grocery stores to support himself. He is now on the freelance rugby market.[9]

Achievements[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  Fiji
1997 South Pacific Mini Games Pago Pago, American Samoa 1st 110 m hurdles 13.9 s (ht) w (wind: +2.8 m/s)
1st 400 m hurdles 51.87 s
3rd Triple jump 14.49 m w (wind: +3.6 m/s)
1999 South Pacific Games Santa Rita, Guam 1st 110 m hurdles 14.32 s (wind: -1.0 m/s) GR
2nd 400 m hurdles 51.67 s
2003 South Pacific Games Suva, Fiji 1st 110 m hurdles 14.36 s (wind: -1.6 m/s)
2nd 400 m hurdles 52.50 s
2nd 4x400 m relay 3:11.82 min
2007 Pacific Games Apia, Samoa 2nd 110 m hurdles 14.79 s (wind: +1.3 m/s)

References[edit]

External links[edit]