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Proud Kosovarian Kelmendi waves the flag in Paris
Proud Kosovarian Kelmendi waves the flag in Paris
8 Feb 2014 17:45
by Mark Pickering - IJF
IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation

Kosova World champion Majlinda Kelmendi reigned in the French capital as she halted the title bid of Finnish Baku Grand Slam winner Jaana Sundberg in the U52kg final. Kosovo hero Kelmendi attacked with an uchi-mata at the halfway point which caught her opponent and the crowd by surprise for ippon. In the first semi-final Majlinda Kelmendi bested World Championships bronze medallist Mareen Kraeh with a clinical harai-goshi for ippon and pointed to her coach Driton Kuka with a cheeky smile before returning to her feet. In the second semi-final Jaana Sundberg defeated Andreea Chitu of Romania by an uchi-mata with an incredible rotation which left fans in awe.

The first bronze medal was won by Qingdao Grand Prix winner Natalia Kuzyutina (RUS) who prevailed against losing semi-finalist Chitu with a punishing mune-gatame sapping the energy out of her opponent and yielding ippon. The second bronze medal was clinched by Kraeh who trapped Tashkent Grand Prix silver medallist Gili Cohen (ISR) with a kesa-gatame for ippon.

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