Judo: Mahilinda Kelmendi makes history after winning first ever gold for Kosovo

  • Reuters, Rio De Janeiro
  • Updated: Aug 08, 2016 07:12 IST
Majlinda Kelmendi (KOS) of Kosovo greets supporters at the Rio 2016 Olympics. (Reuters Photo)

Majlinda Kelmendi made history at the Rio Games on Sunday as she won gold in the women’s judo, becoming the first athlete from Kosovo to win an Olympic medal after overcoming Italy’s Odette Giuffrida in a tense duel.

Kelmendi, ranked second in her -52kg weight class, topped 10th-seeded Giuffrida with a single point from a yuko that had initially been judged to be a more valuable waza-ari.

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Rio marks the first Olympics at which athletes are competing under the flag of Kosovo, which proclaimed independence from Serbia in 2008 and which was accepted as a member of the International Olympic Committee in 2014.

The two-times world champion, who was Kosovo’s flag bearer at Friday’s opening ceremony, represented Albania at the London Games in 2012 but she went home without a medal that time.

Japan’s Misato Nakamura and Russia’s Natalia Kuziutina won bronze.

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