Majlinda Kelmendi

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Majlinda Kelmendi
Memli Krasniqi meeting Majlinda Kelmendi (cropped2).JPG
Personal information
Full nameMajlinda Ismet Kelmendi
Nickname(s)Majlinda e artë (Golden Majlinda)
NationalityKosovo
EthnicityKosovo Albanian
Born (1991-05-09) 9 May 1991 (age 27)
Peć, SFR Yugoslavia
ResidencePeć, Kosovo
Height5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
Weight112 lb (51 kg; 8.0 st)
Sport
CountryKosovo
SportJudo
Rank1 (52kg)
Coached byDriton Kuka

Majlinda Ismet Kelmendi (Albanian pronunciation: [majˈlinda kɛlˈmɛndi]; born 9 May 1991)[1][2] is a Kosovar-Albanian[3][4] judoka and a double world champion with two European titles.[5] She competes in the 52 kg weight category. She competes for Galatasaray Judo in Istanbul.

In 2014, Majlinda topped the IJF Women's Prestige World Ranking List[6][7] and was decorated by President of Kosovo, Atifete Jahjaga with the "Presidential Medal of Merit".[8] On 7 August 2016, she became the first Kosovar athlete to win a medal at the Olympic Games when she claimed gold in the women's -52 kg category in Rio de Janeiro.[9] She represented Albania in 2012 but failed to win a medal.[10]

Career[edit]

Born in Pejë, Kelmendi began practicing the art of judo in 1999, in her hometown. Her current[citation needed] coach is Driton Kuka.[11][12]

In 2009, Kelmendi won the gold medal at the World Junior Championships in Paris.[13] In 2010, she came 5th at the World Junior Championships in Morocco[14] and finished 9th in the 52 kg category at the 2010 World Judo Championships in Tokyo, Japan.[15] She defeated Jaana Sundberg in the first round of the 2012 Olympics but then lost to Christianne Legentil in the second round.[16]

At the 2013 World Judo Championships, Kelmendi gave Kosovo its first ever judo world title as she beat Brazil's Erika Miranda in the −52 kg gold medal match in Rio de Janeiro. The 22-year-old – the first Kosovar judoka to win a medal at the championships since Kosovo's declaration of independence 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.[citation needed] Kelmendi retained the world title in 2014. She only lost twice in 2013 and had beaten everyone of note in her division.[17] She did not defend her title the following year due to injury.

In February 2016, she won the gold medal at Grand Slam Paris, making her third consecutive title after winning in 2014 and 2015.[18] Two months later, she earned a gold medal at the 2016 European Judo Championships in Kazan, Russia.[19] At the 2016 Summer Olympics she became the first ever Kosovan athlete to win a gold medal, or any medal at all, for Kosovo at an Olympic Games.[9] Controversy arose when reports emerged that she had declined to take an unscheduled doping control test in June in France; her trainer insists she is clean, and that she refused due to the tester having no authorisation from WADA.[20]

National team representation[edit]

Due to the resistance of International Olympic Committee and the United Nations, Kelmendi was unable to represent Kosovo at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and instead chose to represent Albania, as the vast majority of Kosovars are ethnic Albanians.[21]

In October 2014, the International Olympic Committee provisionally recognised the Olympic Committee of Kosovo and gave it full membership on 9 December 2014.[22][23] Kosovo participated at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the country's first appearance at an Olympic event.[24] Kelmendi was Kosovo's flag bearer during the Parade of Nations of the opening ceremony in Rio.[25] Her gold medal in those games was Kosovo’s first ever Olympic medal. She is also a citizen of Albania and has an Albanian passport.[3]

Medals record[edit]

Source:[26]

2009
3rd, bronze medalist(s) World Cup − 52 kg, Prague
2010
2nd, silver medalist(s) World Cup − 52 kg, Sofia
1st, gold medalist(s) European Cup − 52 kg, Sarajevo
1st, gold medalist(s) Grand Prix − 52 kg, Tunis
3rd, bronze medalist(s) World Cup − 52 kg, Tallinn
2011
2nd, silver medalist(s) World Cup − 52 kg, Sofia
2nd, silver medalist(s) Grand Prix − 52 kg, Düsseldorf
3rd, bronze medalist(s) World Cup − 52 kg, Lisbon
1st, gold medalist(s) World Cup − 52 kg, Rome
1st, gold medalist(s) World Cup − 52 kg, Minsk
1st, gold medalist(s) Grand Prix − 52 kg, Abu Dhabi
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Grand Prix − 52 kg, Amsterdam
2012
1st, gold medalist(s) European Cup − 52 kg, Prague
2nd, silver medalist(s) World Cup − 52 kg, Rome
1st, gold medalist(s) World Cup − 52 kg, Istanbul
1st, gold medalist(s) Grand Prix − 52 kg, Abu Dhabi
2013
2nd, silver medalist(s) Grand Slam − 52 kg, Paris
1st, gold medalist(s) Grand Prix − 52 kg, Düsseldorf
1st, gold medalist(s) Grand Prix − 52 kg, Samsun
3rd, bronze medalist(s) European Championships − 52 kg, Budapest
1st, gold medalist(s) IJF World Masters − 52 kg, Tyumen
1st, gold medalist(s) World Championships − 52 kg, Rio de Janeiro
2014
1st, gold medalist(s) Grand Slam − 52 kg, Paris
1st, gold medalist(s) Grand Prix − 52 kg, Samsun
1st, gold medalist(s) European Championships − 52 kg, Montpellier
1st, gold medalist(s) Grand Prix − 52 kg, Budapest
1st, gold medalist(s) World Championships − 52 kg, Chelyabinsk
1st, gold medalist(s) Grand Slam − 52 kg, Abu Dhabi
2015
1st, gold medalist(s) Grand Slam − 52 kg, Paris
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Grand Slam − 52 kg, Abu Dhabi
2016
1st, gold medalist(s) Grand Slam − 52 kg, Paris
1st, gold medalist(s) European Championships − 52kg, Kazan
1st, gold medalist(s) Grand Prix − 52 kg, Budapest
1st, gold medalist(s) Olympic Games − 52 kg, Rio de Janeiro
2017
1st, gold medalist(s) Grand Slam − 52 kg, Paris
1st, gold medalist(s) European Championships − 52kg, Warsaw

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kosovo: Majlinda, the judo star". BalcaniCaucaso. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  2. ^ "The Olympics Interview: Majlinda Kelmendi". FP. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  3. ^ a b "London 2012: Judoka's Kosovo Olympic bid turned down". Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Majlinda Kelmendi". BBC. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Kosovo Albanian judoka Majlinda Kelmendi wins the European Judo Championships 2016". Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Kelmendi and Tchrikishvili crowned IJF Prestige World Ranking List winners". International Judo Federation. Archived from the original on 9 August 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Vizer shpall Majlindën më të mirën në botë". Telegrafi.com. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Majlinda Kelmendi dekorohet me Medaljen Presidenciale të Meritave". Telegrafi. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  9. ^ a b MacPhail, Cameron (7 August 2016). "Majlinda Kelmendi makes history with victory in women's judo as Kosovo wins first ever gold medal". rio2016.com. Rio 2016. Archived from the original on 8 August 2016. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  10. ^ "BBC Sport – London 2012 Olympics – Majlinda Kelmendi : Albania, Judo". Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  11. ^ Browne, Luke. "The Olympics Interview: Majlinda Kelmendi". Financial Times. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  12. ^ Eades, David (21 July 2012). "Politics bears down on 2012 hopeful Majlinda Kelmendi". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  13. ^ Mark Lowe (17 September 2010). "Politics bears down on 2012 hopeful Majlinda Kelmendi". BBC Sport News. Retrieved 24 November 2010.
  14. ^ "IJF World Championship Juniors 2010 – 52kg category results" (PDF). International Judo Federation. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  15. ^ "World Championships 2010 – 52kg category results" (PDF). IJF website. International Judo Federation. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  16. ^ "London 2012: 48-52kg halflightweight women – Olympic Judo". Olympic.org. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  17. ^ T.P. Grant (26 August 2014). "2014 World Judo Championships Day 2: Men's −60kg and Women's". Bloody Elbow.
  18. ^ "JudoInside – News – Majlinda Kelmendi claims third title in Paris".
  19. ^ "IJF live results".
  20. ^ "Kosovo's First Ever Olympic Medalist on Her 'Great Moment'". Time.
  21. ^ Jackson, Jamie (29 July 2012). "London 2012: Judo's Majlinda Kelmendi still fighting for recognition". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  22. ^ Karolos Grohmann (23 October 2014). "Olympics: IOC has no concerns over Kosovo recognition". Reuters.
  23. ^ "Kosovo to compete at Rio 2016 Olympics after recognition from IOC", Associated Press, 9 December 2014.
  24. ^ "Kosovo given go-ahead by IOC to take part in 2016 Olympics". the Guardian.
  25. ^ "Majlinda Kelmendi carries the flag of Kosovo at Rio 2016". 100Judo.com. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  26. ^ "Majlinda Kelmendi, Judoka, JudoInside". Retrieved 8 August 2016.