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Kosovo Wins Women's Judo Olympic Gold

Distria Krasniqi receives her gold medal in Tokyo.
Distria Krasniqi receives her gold medal in Tokyo.

Kosovo erupted in joy as Distria Krasniqi won a gold medal in judo, the second-ever Olympic medal for the small Balkan country.

Krasniqi beat Funa Tonaki of Japan in the women’s 48-kilogram judo final at the Tokyo Games on July 24.

"Winning gold here in Japan, the home of judo, was very special," Krasniqi said.

Kosovar President Vjosa Osmani congratulated the 25-year-old athlete.

“Through Distria today, Kosovo excelled to the world. Today and forever Kosovo will be proud of you,” Osmani wrote on Facebook.

Prime Minister Albin Kurti joined in: “Thank you for making each of us proud."

In 2016, Majlinda Kelmendi became the first Kosovar athlete to win a medal at the Olympic Games when she claimed gold in the women's 52-kg category in Rio de Janeiro.

Kosovo, a former Serbian province, declared independence in 2008 after a 1998-99 conflict between separatist ethnic Albanian rebels and Serbian forces.

Kosovo's independence has been recognized by more than 100 countries, but Serbia still considers the territory as its southern province.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

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