Sport

Ademi left Sweden for Kosovo as he is more appreciated

Taekwondo player Bleron Ademi won medals in major events for young people last year. Representing Sweden, Ademi won bronze medals, first in the Junior World Championship held in Sofia, Bulgaria and then in the European Championship for the U21 age group held in Tirana.

But for Adem, the silver medal won while representing Kosovo is of greater value.

Bleroni won silver medals in the European Championships for taekwondo players under 21 years. The European for this age group was held in Bucharest, Romania. And the medal won by Bleron Ademi was the biggest so far for Kosovar taekwondo.

"I have always tried to give a lot for myself, the club and also for Sweden. But Sweden has not evaluated me as Kosovo is evaluating me", said Ademi in a conversation with TIME.

Ademi stayed briefly in Kosovo earlier this week. In the country from where he comes from, he came for the first time after the historic success he achieved at the end of last year. He came to accept the award "The best young athlete of 2023 in Kosovo", shared by the Olympic Committee of Kosovo.

"Kosovo is my country. I was very happy, as I knew that Kosovo has never managed to win a silver medal in the U21 group", said the promising taekwondo player.

The 18-year-old insists that he feels more appreciated in Kosovo.

"Sweden is not that good. He does not give much importance to sports. It is not the same as here in Kosovo, where you feel more valued. They are helping me in all aspects here, but not there at all. They have helped me a lot here", said Ademi.

Ademi with taekwondo says that he started doing it since he was 6 years old. For a period of two years, he also tried football. But in the end he decided to focus fully on the combat sport of taekwondo.

"This sport has given me a lot. I won the discipline, European and world medal. I also won the title of champion in Sweden and many medals from different events".

Ademi, who competes in the category up to 54 kilograms, is from Mitrovica, while he lives in Trollhatan, near Gothenburg, in Sweden. He says that the life of a taekwondo player is not easy. He points out that after completing his education he can return to live in Kosovo.

"My friends that I met at competitions have always told me to come and compete for Kosovo. Denis, my friend, has told me that it is better. I also talked with my father and when I turned 18 I said that I am ready for Kosovo now", said Ademi.

After the European silver medal, Ademi promises other successes for Kosovo.

Why not an Olympic medal?

"I aim for the first place in the Olympic Games. I am very motivated and I am training every day and the chances are great that I will achieve this success", said Ademi.

First, he must secure the Olympic standard, while the qualifying tournament is next month.

Kosovo has also won medals in combat sports in the past, in taekwondo as well, but only with young age groups. Ademi winning the rate would be a historic success.