Majlinda Kelmendi enjoys her retirement from judo. For four years she ruled the category of U52 kilos with an iron fist.
In her country she is one of the three best known people and is undoubtedly the most respected. Kelmendi also has her own statue and at most, there must be one or two people in the world with a living statue and we are not talking about dictators but about normal people. In other words, Majlinda is the winning symbol of Kosovo, the image of a nation.
Kelmendi assures us that being a coach is not easy.
“It’s normal because no matter how much you train and prepare the combat and the strategy, in the end you don’t control anything because you’re in the chair and not on the tatami.”
“What I want is to help, if I can bring something new and good, then it will be worth it,” she says.
The road will be long; they both know it because they both travelled that same path years ago. The good thing is that both Majlinda and Toni know the curves, they know what they will find when they go through it again with the young promises. “There are some really good ones,” says Majlinda.
Majlinda has always liked pressure; she never got upset. She even used it as a weapon to always be ahead of others. Toni knows, that in a few years, she will be his successor. They have been together longer than many marriages and have a plan for the future. “In a few years I will retire to do something else and to sleep, to sleep well”, says coach Toni Kuka while Majlinda smiles.
They are a winning duo and now intend to extend their legacy. This has been understood in Kosovo. Whether they succeed is another story, time will tell.