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Judo: Kelmendi, Ebinuma reign supreme at worlds

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(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)

Japan's Masashi Ebinuma and Kosovar Majlinda Kelmendi both successfully defended their world titles at the World Judo Championships on Tuesday.

Ebinuma claimed a third consecutive gold in the -66kg category as the Olympic bronze medallist added to his trophies from Paris in 2011 and Rio de Janeiro in 2013.

The 24-year-old Ebinuma dominated the second day of competition, spoiling Mikhail Pulyaev's bid to give the hosts their first gold of the championships.

As a result Japan lead the medals table after the second day of competition in Siberia with two gold -- Ebinuma (-66 kg) and Ami Kondo (-48 kg).

Russia's Kamal Khan-Magomedov and Georgia's Georgii Zantaraia won bronze.

Earlier Kelmendi defied the odds to hold her -52kg crown by beating Romania's Andreea Chitu with Russia's Natalia Kuziutina and Brazilian Erika Miranda taking bronze.

But despite the victory Kosovo will not appear on the medals table.

Kelmendi entered the country on an Albanian passport as Russia do not give visas to residents of the breakaway Balkan state.

The 23-year-old could not wear the colours of Kosovo and was represented under the initials of the International Judo Federaion (IJF).

Overwhelemed by emotion she fell to the ground on sealing her victory, remaining motionless with her hands over her face as she savoured the moment.

Kelmendi, who has become a symbol of hope for her country after winning their first world medal last year and travels to competitions in a mobile home, has impressed all season winning a first European title last April.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140826/judo-kelmendi-ebinuma-reign-supreme-at-worlds