By Paul Osborne

Majlinda Kelmendi has topped the IJF Prestige World Ranking List for 2014 ©Getty ImagesWorld champions Majlinda Kelmendi and Avtandil Tchrikishvili have ended the year top of the first-ever International Judo Federation (IJF) Prestige World Ranking List.

Introduced by IJF President Marius Vizer at the Havana Grand Prix in June, the two lists, one for male judoka and another for female, rank all athletes from all weight categories according to the number of ranking points picked up across the season.

The leader at the end of the year is then awarded $50,000 (£32,000/€41,000) to recognise their efforts across a tough season of IJF-sanctioned Grand Prix, Grand Slams and other major championships.

Kosovo's Kelmendi has received the honour for the inaugural 2014 season, topping off an excellent season for the judoka both on and other the tatami.

Not only did she win her second successive under 52 kilogram world title in Chelyabinsk, Russia, and the European title in Montpellier, France, she also saw her country recognised by the International Olympic Committee, opening up the option of her competing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio under her own flag.

The 23-year-old will be the biggest name on the Kosovo roster doing into Rio, having competed at London 2012 for Albania.

After going unbeaten throughout 2014, Kelmendi ended the year with 4,230 points.

Avtandil Tchrikishvili topped the men's IJF Prestige World Ranking List after securing his first world title in Russia ©IJFAvtandil Tchrikishvili topped the men's IJF Prestige World Ranking List after securing his first world title in Russia ©IJF

Georgia's Tchrikishvili takes top spot in the men's Prestige World Ranking List after winning his first world title in Chelyabinsk this year, as well as a second successive European title.

He also won Grand Prix titles in Tbilisi and Havana, and the Grand Slam in Paris, in the men's under 81kg contest.

The Georgian was almost 1,000 points clear of closest rival Bolbaatar Ganbat of Mongolia with 3,610 points.

Judo icons Teddy Riner of France and Ilias Iliadis of Greece have both received $40,000 (£25,000/€33,000) each for extraordinary services brought to the popularisation of judo around the world, as well as excellent results in their sports career.

Olympic champion Riner won a record-equalling seventh world title in 2014 while Athens 2004 gold medallist Iliadis sealed 10 years at the top of pinnacle of the sport by winning his third world crown this year.

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