Kosovo judoka to compete for Albania in London
PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — A Kosovo-born judoka says she will compete for Albania at the London Olympics after the IOC ruled she cannot compete as an independent candidate.
Majlinda Kelmend is ranked fifth in the world in the under-115-pound class. She has Kosovo and Albanian citizenship and initially hoped she could overcome political obstacles and represent the new country for the first time. But because Kosovo is not a member of the United Nations it cannot compete as an independent state.
Kosovo seceded from Serbia in 2008 but Serbia rejects the move.
Russia backs Serbia's rejection of Kosovo status while the United States and most EU countries have recognized the breakaway province as a state.