Award-winning runner Luiza Gega will represent Albania at the Rio 2016 Olympics, set to take place from 5 to 21 August in Brazil. Luiza Gega set the national record 9:28.52 in the women’s 3000m steeplechase winning the silver medal at the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam (Tiranatimes).
Gega’s medal is the first championship win for Albania. The National Olympic Committee of Albania will be sending 5 athletes to the Olympic games, namely: Luiza Gega for the 1500m run, Izmir Smajlaj for the long jump, swimmers Sidni Hoxha for the 50 meters freestyle and Nikol Merizaj for the 100 meters freestyle and Briken Calja for the weightlifting in the men’s 69kg category.
Kosovo will also be participating for the first time after becoming a member of International Olympic Committee in December 2014. World champion in judo Majlinda Kelmendi will carry Kosovo’s flag at the opening ceremony in Rio, and Luiza Gega will carry Albania’s flag. Kosovar archer Urata Rama will represent Kosovo at the 2016 Olympics as the women’s 10 m air rifle shooter.
Runner Luiza Gega won the 1500m silver medal at the 2013 Mediterranean Games and the 1500m bronze medal at the 2013 Universiade.
“For the first time Albania received a medal in an Olympic event such as the European Games. The gold medal won by Luiza Gega makes us optimistic about Rio 2016,” said Viron Bezhani, the president of the Albanian Olympic Committee.
Ps: NY Elite Magazine would like to thank Colored Films Company in Hollywood for bringing this story to our attention and their support for women in sports.