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Shohei Ono and Majlinda Kelmendi voted athletes of the year
23 Dec 2016 16:05
Rio 2016 Olympic champions Majlinda Kelmendi (KOS) and Ono Shohei (JPN) have won the IJF Judoka of the Year Awards following a fan vote on the IJF Facebook page.
Kosovo’s double world champion and flagbearer Kelmendi, who marked her country’s first Olympiad with gold in the -52kg category, received 5299 votes. Rio’s own Olympic champion Rafaela Silva (BRA) finished second with 2565 votes ahead of double Olympic champion Kayla Harrison (USA).
Japanese favourite and double world champion Ono Shohei of Tenri University won the IJF Male Judoka of the Year Award after receiving 2166 votes. Heavyweight king Teddy Riner (FRA) finished second with 983 votes ahead of the sensational Fabio Basile (ITA) who earned 668 votes.
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Ai Shishime completes the Japanese power with gold U52kg. She met Olympic Champion Majlinda Kelmendi in the semi final and defeated the Kosovarian star. Shishime's opponent in the final was Natsumi Tsunoda to whom she lost before, but this time the 23-year old Japanese grabbed the gold. Shishime was Japanese and Asian champion and has her best year in her career. Read more
Since winning her first World title in 2013, Majlinda Kelmendi has been defeated only once in an individual tournament. That loss was to Erika Miranda of Brazil in the 2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, just two months after Kelmendi's return to competition after a very long injury layoff. The unfortunate draw brought the Olympic medallists together in one pool. Read more
At the IJF Gala on Sunday evening Majlinda Kelmendi of Kosovo was awarded as The Best Female Judoka Kelmendi. Since 2012 she won three European title, two world titles and the Olympic title. The honour for men was for Teddy Riner who will arrive later in Budapest as he fights on Saturday. Read more
Daniel Mair (GBR)
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