Kelmendi hands Kosovo first ever judo world title

AFP, RIO DE JANEIRO

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - Page 18

Majlinda Kelmendi gave Kosovo their first ever judo world title on Tuesday as she beat Brazil’s Erika Miranda in the under-52kg gold medal match in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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 traveled to Rio de Janeiro ranked world No. 1 in her category having won the prestigious Masters event.

For Miranda it was also her first medal at either the world championships or the Olympic Games, the 26-year-old having lost the bronze medal match in the 2007 and 2010 world championships.

It was the first time that Brazil won a medal in the women’s under-52kg category.

The bronze medals went to Germany’s Mareen Kraeh and Yuki Hashimoto of Japan — the latter Japan’s third medal in as many events in Rio.

JAPANESE SUCCESS

The Japanese — who endured their worst showing at the Olympic Games in London last year garnering just one gold medal, with the men winning none — added two more medals to their tally in Tuesday’s second final, the men’s under-66kg category.

Japan’s Masashi Ebinuma defeated Kazakh judoka Azamat Mukanov in the final, while his compatriot, Masaaki Fukuoka, took bronze along with Ukraine’s Georgii Zantaraia.