Kosovo government supports young athletes with €4 million for LA 2028 Olympics. KOSOVO NOC

The Government of Kosovo has given the green light to the 'Super Athletes Programme', which aims to increase the number of Olympic qualifiers and medals for Kosovo at the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

The 'Super Athletes Programme', led by three-time Olympic gold medallist in judo Driton Kuka, offers €4 million in support to young athletes in Olympic sports. It was developed by experts from the Kosovo Olympic Committee, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, and sports journalism. 

"'Super Athletes' aims to provide sustainable support to the country's athletes, focusing on those with high potential to succeed in the international sporting events," said Hajrullah Çeku, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports. 

In addition to aiming for success at the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles 2028, Deputy Minister Daulina Osmani stressed that the programme seeks to increase Kosovo's medal tally at the World Championships, European Championships, and Mediterranean Games. LA28 could be Kosovo's fourth Olympic Games, with Rio 2016 being the first.

Kosovo's Distria Krasniqi and Nora Gjakova. KOSOVO NOC
Kosovo's Distria Krasniqi and Nora Gjakova. KOSOVO NOC

The Kosovo Olympic Committee has expressed its approval of the programme, with President Ismet Krasniqi stressing that this support, along with Olympic scholarships and hopes, underlines the commitment of the government and the Kosovo NOC to the development of sport, with a particular focus on increasing the number of Olympic qualifications and medals.

The Balkan country has won three Olympic gold medals in judo in two appearances at the Summer Olympics: one at Rio 2016 with athlete Majlinda Kelmendi, who passed a special drug test, and two at Tokyo 2020 with Kosovo 2023 Kosovo 'Athletes of the year' Distria Krasniqi and Nora Gjakova.

Kosovo has a contingent of five judokas who are currently within the qualifying quota for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, as well as a boxer who has already qualified.