There were tears of joy in Rio on Sunday night after Majlinda Kelmendi won Kosovo's first ever Olympic medal. She defeated Italy's Odette Giuffrida in the women's 52kg judo to win in front of her long-serving coach Driton Kuka.

The 25-year-old double world champion was firm favourite in her division and won easily in her first round contest against Switzerland's Evelyne Tschopp.

She then outfought Mauritius' Christianne Legentil and Japan's Misato Nakamura before Giuffrida on her way to claiming the medal.

"To be honest, I came here for the gold medal, but it's crazy," she said. "This is the first time that Kosovo is part of the Olympics, and for the first time, I think gold is huge."

Kelmendi, who was flagbearer for Kosovo at the opening ceremony on Friday, is one of just eight Kosovans competing at the Games after the country became an official IOC member in 2014 following its independence from Serbia.

She competed in London in 2012 as a member of Albania's delegation, as Kosovo was not yet recognized by the IOC, but did not get past the second round that year. The gold medals sits alongside the two world championships, two continental championships and dozens more victories.

Majlinda Kelmendi
Majlinda Kelmendi won Kosovo's first ever Olympic medal Getty