9 May 1991 |
|Weight||−52 kg (−115 lb; −8.2 st)|
|Rank||1 (-52kg) |
Majlinda Kelmendi (born 9 May 1991) is a Kosovar Albanian judoka. As of 2013, Majlinda stands first in the international rankings by the International Judo Federation in the −52 kg category.
In 2014 Majlinda was declared as the best judoka in the world in all categories by the IJF president, Marius Vizer. On 24 December 2014, she was decorated by the President of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga with "Presidential Medal of Merit".
In 2009, Kelmendi won the gold medal at the World Junior Championships in Paris, France. In 2010, she came 5th at the World Junior Championships in Morocco and finished 9th in the 52 kg category at the 2010 World Judo Championships in Tokyo, Japan.
Due to the resistance of International Olympic Committee and the United Nations, Kelmendi was not allowed to represent Kosovo at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and instead chose to represent Albania, where most Albanians originating from Kosovo choose to represent.
However, in October 2014 the International Olympic Committee provisionally recognised the Olympic Committee of Kosovo and gave it full membership on 9 December 2014. It is expected that Kosovo will participate at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It has been announced that Majlinda will wave Kosovo's flag during the Parade of Nations within the opening ceremony in Rio.
2013-present: Winning the WJC title and comeback
On 27 August 2013, Majlinda Kelmendi gave Kosovo their first ever judo world title on Tuesday as she beat Brazil's Erika Miranda in the −52 kilogrammes gold medal match in Rio de Janeiro.The 22-year-old – the first Kosovar judoka to win a medal at the championships since it became a state in its own right in 2008 – was not a shock winner as she came to Rio de Janeiro ranked number one in her category having won the prestigious Masters event.
On 26 August 2014, Majlinda Kelmendi maintained the Judo world title, winning the 2014 World Judo Championships. She only lost twice in 2013 and has beaten everyone of note in her division. On 31 October 2014, Majlinda Kelmendi won the gold medal at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2014".
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- "IJF World Championship Juniors 2010 – 52kg category results" (PDF). IJF website. International Judo Federation. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
- "World Championships 2010 – 52kg category results" (PDF). IJF website. International Judo Federation. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
- Jackson, Jamie (29 July 2012). "London 2012: Judo's Majlinda Kelmendi still fighting for recognition". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- Olympics: IOC has no concerns over Kosovo recognition
- "Kosovo to compete at Rio 2016 Olympics after recognition from IOC", Associated Press, 9 December 2014.
- Kosovo given go-ahead by IOC to take part in 2016 Olympics
- "Majlinda Kelmendi carries the flag of Kosovo at Rio 2016". 100Judo.com. Retrieved 9 December 2014.