Former world champion Majlinda Kelmendi will be looking to continue her recovery from injury in Paris ©Getty Images

Kosovo’s Majlinda Kelmendi is set to make her eagerly anticipated return to the World Judo Tour as she is set to step up her comeback from injury at the Paris Grand Slam event, which is due to take place tomorrow and Sunday (October 18).

The under 52 kilogram judoka was unable to defend her title at the International Judo Federation (IJF) World Championships in Kazakhstan’s capital city Astana in August following a back problem, but the issue appears to be in the past after she won the Lisbon European Open last weekend.

Kelmendi triumphed last year in Paris when the event was held in its traditional February timeslot and is now hoping for a repeat performance this October, with the Grand Slam having been moved due to renovation work at the Accor Hotel Arena, originally known as the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy.

“In the Paris Grand Slam its great being there, everything is perfect, for me it is the best judo event,” she said.

“Last year I won gold in Paris, it was a great feeling to see more than 12,000 spectators to stand up for the Kosovo anthem.

“After a long time coming back from injury I have now returned and my goal is to win gold in all of my competitions until Rio 2016 which is my main goal.”

IJF President Marius Vizer welcomed the judoka to the Grand Slam event ahead of the draw
IJF President Marius Vizer welcomed the judoka to the Grand Slam event ahead of the draw ©IJF

A total of 84 countries are taking part in France’s premier judo event and the third Grand Slam of the season.

“I encourage you and your athletes to continue to work together as a united family with our referees, staff and officials in order to maintain and develop the stability, image and presentation of our sport and of the IJF,” said Marius Vizer, President of the IJF.

“All coaches and teams must have consideration and understanding and their mission is to be a teacher to their athletes and to show our values.

“You have to consider referees as human beings and to remember that no fight or competition is the same.

“I encourage coaches to ask their athletes to be positive and to look for scores, we hope to see open judo, with everyone looking to win by ippon and regardless of the outcome I expect everyone to show discipline and respect to the result and score for all concerned.

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