▲ Kosovo's first gold medalist at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Krasniki

At the Tokyo Olympics, Kosovo, a small country with a population of 1.88 million, is becoming a hot topic when it prevents the host country Japan from taking over the gold medal in judo.

As of yesterday (26th), six events in judo were finished, and Japan, which is proud of the country of origin, took 4 gold medals, and Kosovo took the other two.

The main characters are Krasniki Distria in the women's 48kg class and Nora Kyeakova in the women's 57kg class.

Krasniki defeated Japan's Tonaki Funa in the final on the 24th, the first day after the opening, and put Japan's dream of winning judo in vain.

In the semifinals, Kye Akova also defeated Japan's Tsukasa Yoshida by half in the semifinals and advanced to the finals, winning the gold medal with a cool bout.

Thanks to the two players, Kosovo pushed out the dominant country and as of the 26th, is the sole eighth place in the medal race.

Kosovo is a country that experienced a tragic war in Kosovo in the late 1990s between Albanian Kosovo residents and Serbian government forces who demanded secession and independence from Serbia.

The bloodshed ended only after NATO and the United Nations intervened in the 1999 war in Kosovo.

Kosovo declared independence in 2008, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognized Kosovo as an independent country in 2014, allowing them to compete under their own flag from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics.

Kosovo made its debut in the Summer and Winter Olympics at Rio 2016 and Pyeongchang 2018 respectively.

Although he entered the Olympic stage belatedly, his skills were not formidable, and judo in particular raised the honor of Kosovo.

At the opening ceremony of the Rio Games, Mailinda Kelmendi, a jockey who remained in the history of Kosovo, entered the event with national flags and won the women's 52kg class in judo, giving her country the first gold medal.

After that, he added two gold medals in judo in this competition, already surpassing the performance of his first appearance.

Considering that 99 of the 206 National Olympic Committee NOCs under the IOC have not yet won a gold medal in the Summer Olympics, we can see the potential of Kosovo.

Kosovo sent 11 athletes across six sports to the Tokyo Olympics, with 5 in judo, followed by swimming, track and field, boxing, shooting and wrestling.

No country seems to surpass Kosovo in gold medal performance per population.

(Photo = Getty Images Korea)