Distria Krasniqi will need to have endurance to keep her weight

    Distria Krasniqi will need to have endurance to keep her weight

    22 Oct 2020 13:10

     Leart Hoxha for Balkan Insight    Christian Fidler


    For Paris winner Distria Krasniqi, the postponement of the 2020 Olympics isn’t merely a disappointment. It means another year of intense calorie-counting and sleepless nights. On Friday she will participate in the Grand Slam in Budapest U48kg.

    “Sometimes I think people just don’t get it,” said Driton Kuka, selector of Kosovo’s national judo team, of which Krasniqi is a member.

    “They don’t know what it takes to slim down to less than 48kg of body weight and then go out and fight the next day.”

    “Her body structure, hormones, muscle mass, everything… we will have to endure one more year.”

    Kosovo has become a force to be reckoned with on the world judo stage. The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics has come as a bitter blow.

    Kuka had been due to take five Kosovo judokas to Tokyo in July, among them national hero Majlinda Kelmendi, winner of the gold medal in the 52 kg category at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

    With each country limited to fielding one competitor in each category, Krasniqi, 25, has had to bring her weight down to 48 kg and keep it down, which is no easy task.

    So the postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic has come as a bitter pill personally for Krasniqi, and for Kosovo as a whole, which had hopes high of more glory in only its second Olympic outing. The Kosovo Olympic Committee, KOK, has been scrambling to contain the fallout, not least in terms of money.

    Krasniqi is one of seven members of the team in Budapest. U48kg she will a few tough opponents such as Laura Martinez Abelenda (ESP), Irina Dolgova (RUS), Catarina Costa (POR) and the experienced home fighter from Hungary Eva Csernoviczky among others. Also she fought Olympic Champion Paula Pareto (ARG) five time and won four contests. Krasniqi won the IJF Masters last year and the Paris Grand Slam in February.

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