The latest Judo News offered by

Majlinda Kelmendi set to return at Abu Dhabi blockbuster

26 Oct 2018 16:55

   Mongolian JudoHeroes

The fourth Grand Slam of the season in Abu Dhabi will see the return of Majlinda Kelmendi of Kosovo. 348 judoka from 62 nations in action over the next three days including Olympic champions Lukas Krpalek (CZE), Paula Pareto (ARG) and Majlinda Kelmendi (KOS).

Kosovo superstar Kelmendi has not fought since 2017 due to injury and in her absence her teammates have more than stepped up and kept their country moving forward on the tatami with European Championships, Grand Prix and Grand Slam gold medals. Kelmendi is a flag bearer for her country on the world stage and her anxious wait to return to action is finally over with the double senior world champion set to compete on day one in Abu Dhabi. 

Abu Dhabi will take over the sporting world landscape from 27 – 29 October on a weekend where the sport will also be celebrating World Judo Day and the theme of Friendship on Sunday 28 October.

Majlinda Kelmendi returns to action after a year on the sidelines through injury. Kelmendi has slipped down to 29th place in the world on the IJF World Ranking List after missing the majority of the 2018 season but has been back in training for several months. In her weight class U52kg the Kosovo star is an eight-time Grand Prix winner and will be determined to make a triumphant return. Kelmendi will be fighting against Russian Yulia Kazarina in her first contest before facing Polish Karolina Pienkowska if she wins. Also back on track is her Olympic opponent in the final Odette Giuffrida who will fight Lamia Eddinari of Morocco in her first battle. Zagreb Grand Prix bronze medallist Angelica Delgado (USA) is the number one seed and should challenge while Cancun Grand Prix bronze medallist Evelyne Tschopp (SUI) is in-form and could be in contention in Abu Dhabi.

The crown jewel of the IJF World Judo Tour, the World Championships, is still an indelible memory for judo fans and the media alike but the world of elite level judo is constantly moving. Since September’s Worlds in Baku, Azerbaijan, the stars of the thriving Olympic sport visited Mexico for the Cancun Grand Prix and now the stage is set for the penultimate Grand Slam of the season.

Grand Slam events have been held in Paris, Düsseldorf and Ekaterinburg already this year with Osaka still to come in November.

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Driton Kuka (KOS), Majlinda Kelmendi (KOS) - European Cup Cadets Zagreb (2018, CRO) - © Franco Di Capua
  • Majlinda Kelmendi (KOS) - World Championships Budapest (2017, HUN) - © IJF Media Team, IJF
  • Majlinda Kelmendi (KOS) - World Championships Budapest (2017, HUN) - © Oliver Sellner

Related Judo Videos

Related Judo News


Majlinda Kelmendi powers to gold in 36 seconds final

24 Jan 2019 17:45

Rio 2016 Olympic champion and two-time world champion Majlinda Kelmendi of Kosovo won her 10th Grand Prix gold medal with a unstoppable showing in Tel Aviv. Kelmendi threw former Grand Slam winner Gili Cohen (ISR) twice in 36 seconds, scoring a waza-ari each time, to show the world that she means business this year and is getting back to her best after returning from a long injury lay-off in October. Read more


Olympic champion Kelmendi ready for bumper 2019

22 Jan 2019 17:30

Rio 2016 Olympic champion and former world champion from Kosovo Majlinda Kelmendi returned to the IJF World Judo Tour in late 2018 with a silver medal at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam and gold at the Tashkent Grand Prix. Kelmendi, 27, will be highly-active in 2019 now that’s she’s returned to full fitness and is edging closer to her title defense at Tokyo 2020. Read more


Top battles in 2019 U52kg: Majlinda Kelmendi vs Uta Abe

3 Jan 2019 12:05

Olympic champion Majlinda Kelmendi of Kosovo returned to action with silver at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam in October. While Kelmendi was recovering from surgery in 2018, Abe Uta took control of the weight category by beating teammate and defending champion Shishime Ai in the final. Read more


Majlinda Kelmendi takes victory in second final in two weeks

9 Nov 2018 16:25

With no real surprise, Olympic champion, Majlinda Kelmendi of Kosovo was present in the final for the second event in a row after Abu Dhabi Grand Slam two weeks ago. This time she caught the gold medal at the Grand Prix in Tashkent where in Abu Dhabi she lost to Giuffrida after she had to 'throw the towel' in the final Read more


Three Kosovo women going for gold in Tashkent

9 Nov 2018 11:55

Some surprises in the morning session in Tashkent at the 2018 edition of the Tashkent Grand Prix in Uzbekistan. Tashkent isn’t that easy to take anymore, not ever for the usual medal catchers. Otgontsetseg Galbadrakh was one of the first victims of the day. Local favourite Sharafuddin Lutfillaev who was in the Grand Slam final this year, got stuck at the seventh place. Read more

First description

Judo birthday

Result City Date
2Paris9 Feb
1Tel Aviv24 Jan
7The Hague2018
1Abu Dhabi2018
Result City Date
3Paris9 Feb
5Abu Dhabi2018


First description Second description Third description Four description