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Majlinda Kelmendi was greedy for the gold medal

23 Jun 2019 10:40

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Two medals for Kosovo on the first day and gold for Majlinda Kelmendi in her category U52kg. It’s clear that she is the chosen one to fight Uta Abe for the World title. Also in her eyes, she admits Abe is her expected toughest opponent at the World Championships.

Still the competition at the European Games was severe with World number one Amandine Buchard in the semi-final and Natalia Kuziutina of Russia in the final. Kuziutia was the title defender. Kelmendi though captured her first European Games title and fourth European title.

Majlinda Kelmendi said: "It was a hard day, but a good one and in the end everything was good because I won a gold medal. For me as well as my coach and my country it's the second European Games and for the second time we took two medals. My team-mate Nora Gjakova was also in the finals so it's a special day for us."

Kelmendi: "Today all the opponents were strong especially in the semi-final and in the final. The semi-finalist was Amandine Buchard (FRA). And right now she's the number one in the world and she wins medals in every competition that she takes part in. I knew that it would be a tough and strong fight but in the end in the golden score I threw her and I won. The same I can say for the final. Natalia Kuziutina was really strong and it was not an easy fight."

What was the most exciting part of the day? Kelmendi: "It was certainly the final, I knew that I already had a medal but I wanted more. For me silver is not the same feeling as gold, because when you have the silver you watch someone else with the gold."

Amandine Buchard took the bronze medal today in Minsk as well as Chelsie Giles of Great Britain without space for big names Van Snick, Giuiffrida, Gneto, Kocher, Pupp, Perez Box, Chitu. It says enough about the level of these Games.

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Related Judo Photos

  • Majlinda Kelmendi (KOS) - Grand Slam Düsseldorf (2019, GER) - © JudoInside.com, judo news, results and photos
  • Natalia Kuziutina (RUS) - Judo Training Camp Porec (2019, CRO) - © Franco Di Capua
  • Amandine Buchard (FRA) - Grand Prix Marrakech (2019, MAR) - © IJF Emanuele Di Feliciantonio, International Judo Federation

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