22 Albania Ranking Olympic Players in History

Tom Kershaw

Welcome to our guide on the best Olympic players in Albania! For over a century, Albanian athletes have been competing in the Olympic Games and have earned medals in a variety of sports.

From swimming to weightlifting to wrestling, Albanian athletes have proudly represented their country in the Olympics. In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most successful Albanian Olympic athletes of all time.

We’ll be looking at their backgrounds, records, and impressive accomplishments. We hope you enjoy the journey!.

1. Mirela Maniani

Mirela Maniani is a retired Greek track and field athlete who has made a lasting impact in the sport. She specialized in the javelin throw, an event in which a athlete hurls a spear-like object as far as they can.

Maniani had a successful career, competing at the top levels of the sport and representing her country in numerous international competitions.

She was the first Greek athlete to win a medal in the javelin throw at the Olympic Games, taking home the bronze medal in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

She also won a gold medal in the javelin throw at the 1998 European Championships in Budapest and was a silver medalist in the same event at the 2001 Mediterranean Games in Tunis.

Maniani also won multiple medals at the World Championships, European Indoor Championships, and the World Cup. Maniani retired from the sport in 2005 and since then has been involved in various organizations and initiatives that promote Greek athletes.

She is currently a member of the Greek Athletics Federation’s Athletes’ Commission, and she has been involved in multiple charity and humanitarian initiatives.

She is an inspiration to all athletes, showing that one can achieve success and make a lasting impact on the sport even after retirement.

2. Klodiana Shala

Klodiana Shala is an accomplished Albanian track and field athlete who specializes in the 200 and 400 meter sprints. She has achieved incredible personal bests in both of these events, clocking in at 23.27 seconds and 52.86 seconds respectively.

Klodiana’s impressive track and field career has earned her the honor of being the flag bearer for Albania in the opening ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympic Games.

This prestigious honor is reserved for athletes who have demonstrated excellence in their respective sports and it is a testament to Klodiana’s hard work and dedication that she was chosen to represent her country in this way.

Klodiana has made a name for herself as one of the best sprinters in the world and her impressive achievements will continue to inspire other athletes for years to come.

3. Romela Begaj

Romela Aleksandër Begaj is an accomplished weightlifter who hails from Albania. On the 11th of November 2014, she made history by winning the world championship in the Snatch style for the 63 kg category at the Almaty tournament.

Prior to this, Begaj had already made a name for herself by participating in the 2008 European Weightlifting Championships where she took home the silver medal.

Her success is a testament to her hard work and dedication to the sport, and it serves as an inspiration to aspiring weightlifters across the world.

4. Afërdita Tusha

Afërdita Tusha was a revolutionary figure in Albanian sports history. She was the first woman to represent Albania at the Olympics, competing in the 1972 Summer Olympic Games. Despite the fact that she was competing against men in the 50-metre free pistol, she finished 51st.

This was an incredible feat for the time, and it was a milestone moment for the Albanian people. Tusha’s participation in the 1972 Olympics showed the world that Albanian women had the courage and determination to compete in the same arena as men.

It also highlighted the importance of women’s sports in Albania and encouraged more women to take part in athletics.

Her legacy has inspired many other female athletes, and her success has been celebrated in the decades since. In addition to her Olympic accomplishments, Afërdita Tusha was also an active advocate for women’s rights in her native country.

She actively promoted initiatives to promote gender equality in Albania, and in doing so, she helped to bring about positive changes for women in her country. Tusha’s legacy is one of courage and determination, and her example has shown that women can achieve great things in sports, regardless of the odds.

Her legacy will live on for generations to come, and her story will continue to inspire and motivate women for many years to come.

5. Ilirjan Suli

Ilirjan Suli, also known as Ilirian Suli, is an Albanian weightlifter who has competed in two Olympic Games. He first competed in the 1996 Summer Olympics in the men’s 76 kg event and then again in the 2000 Summer Olympics in the men’s 77 kg event.

In 2000, Suli achieved great success when he won a bronze medal at the European Weightlifting Championships in the 77 kg event.

His success in the European Weightlifting Championships highlights his strength and ability as a weightlifter and makes him a role model for aspiring weightlifters in his home country of Albania.

Suli’s achievements show that with dedication and hard work anyone can achieve greatness, regardless of their background.

6. Briken Calja

Briken Calja is an accomplished weightlifter from Albania. He has achieved a great amount of success in his career, becoming an Olympian, as well as a European Champion.

Calja competed in the 69 kg weight class until 2018 when the International Weightlifting Federation decided to reorganize the categories. Starting in 2018, Calja began competing in the 73 kg class.

He has proven himself to be an elite athlete, demonstrating his skill and dedication in the sport of weightlifting. He will continue to strive for excellence in the 73 kg class in the years to come.

7. Sahit Prizreni

Sahit Prizreni is an accomplished athlete who has made a name for himself in the world of freestyle wrestling. He hails from the Albanian-Australian community and has been actively involved in the sport since a young age.

He recently reached his greatest achievement in December 2020 when he was appointed president of the Albanian Wrestling Federation.

This was a major milestone for the sport in the country, as it marked the first time a non-Albanian was elected as president. Prizreni has made a strong impression on the Albanian wrestling scene, not only through his skill and dedication to the sport but also through his commitment to develop the sport.

He has been vocal in his support of youth development and has set up various initiatives to promote the sport and its athletes.

He is also an advocate for gender equality in the sport and has campaigned for more female participation. As president of the Albanian Wrestling Federation, Prizreni has worked hard to bring the sport to a new level.

He has formed partnerships with both local and international organizations that are dedicated to promoting the sport in the country.

He is also working to increase the number of international competitions and increase the level of competition in Albania. Prizreni is a passionate advocate for the sport and has been an invaluable asset to the Albanian wrestling community.

He has been instrumental in raising the profile of the sport in the country and is committed to ensuring that the athletes of Albania can continue to compete at the highest level.

He is an inspirational figure in the Albanian wrestling community and has set an example for other aspiring athletes to follow.

8. Beqir Kosova

Beqir Kosova is an Albanian shooter who competed at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in the 50-metre rifle-prone event. He was one of the many shooters from around the world who took part in the event.

Kosova is most remembered for his performance in the Olympic Games, where he finished in 66th position. Kosova’s participation in the 1972 Summer Olympics was a remarkable feat for an Albanian shooter at the time.

As the country was isolated from the world and had limited access to resources, it was quite a remarkable achievement for Kosova to reach the Olympics and be able to compete with the world’s best. Kosova’s performance in the 50-metre rifle-prone event was impressive, especially considering the lack of resources available to him.

He managed to hit the target consistently, finishing 66th out of a total of 83 competitors.

This was a remarkable accomplishment, especially considering the fact that he was competing against some of the world’s best shooters. Kosova’s performance at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games was a testament to his skill and determination as a shooter.

He may not have won any medals, but he managed to make an impression and be remembered as an Albanian shooter who was able to compete at the highest level.

Kosova’s performance is an inspiration for future generations of Albanian shooters, and his legacy will live on for many years to come.

9. Erjon Tola


Erjon Tola is an Albanian alpine ski racer who has achieved an incredible amount of success in his career. He has represented his country, Albania, in the 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 Winter Olympics.

This is a remarkable accomplishment, as it demonstrates his dedication and passion for the sport. Tola has trained and competed at the highest level for many years, and his commitment to excellence has earned him a place among the most respected ski racers in the world.

He is known for his technical skill, speed, and technique on the slopes, and his performances at the Olympics have been outstanding. Tola first began competing at the international level in 2002, and he has continued to build on his success in the years since.

He has won numerous competitions, including the 2006 FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

In addition to this, he has been highly successful in the Grand Prix series, and he has earned numerous placements in the World Cup standings. Tola’s success at the Olympics is a testament to his hard work and dedication.

He has shown that he is capable of competing at the highest level, and his performance in the 2018 Winter Olympics was particularly impressive.

He finished in the top 25 in both the slalom and giant slalom events, and he even earned a bronze medal in the Parallel Giant Slalom event. Erjon Tola’s career is an inspiring example of what can be achieved when hard work and determination are combined.

He has proven himself to be one of the best ski racers in the world, and his accomplishments will surely not be forgotten.

10. Manuela Delilaj

Manuela Delilaj is an impressive Albanian sports shooter who has shown her skill and determination across multiple international competitions. As an Olympian, she competed in the women’s 10 metre air pistol event and Women’s 50 m freestyle event at the 2020 Summer Olympics.

She has also competed at the 2018, 2019, and 2020 European Championships, demonstrating her remarkable consistency and commitment to the sport. While competing in these events, Manuela has made Albania proud with her dedication and passion for shooting.

She has become an inspiration to aspiring shooters around the world and hopes that her success will encourage others to pursue their dreams.

11. Ismail Rama

Ismail Rama is an accomplished Albanian shooter who participated in the 1972 Summer Olympic Games. He competed in the 50 metre rifle prone event and achieved a respectable 22nd-place finish.

Rama was one of the few Albanian athletes to compete in the Games that year, representing his nation proudly and showing the world his talent and skill.

Rama’s success in the event was impressive, despite the fact that the competition was incredibly challenging with many athletes from around the world competing. He was able to hold his own and make a name for himself in the process.

His 22nd place finish is a testament to his hard work and dedication to the sport. Rama’s skill as a shooter is undeniable, and his participation in the 1972 Summer Olympic Games is a remarkable achievement.

He has shown that with hard work and determination, anything is possible. His story is an inspiration to others and is a reminder of the importance of striving to achieve one’s goals.

12. Sokol Bishanaku

Sokol Bishanaku is a renowned former Albanian weightlifter who has achieved a great deal of success in his career. He competed at the prestigious 1992 Summer Olympic Games, where he made an impressive showing.

In addition to this, he also competed in the 1991 Mediterranean Games in Greece, the 1993 Mediterranean Games in France, the 1997 Mediterranean Games in Italy, and the 1999 World Weightlifting Championship in Athens.

These international competitions are some of the most prestigious weightlifting events in the world, and Sokol was able to prove his skill by competing in them. He is a highly decorated weightlifter, and his accomplishments are a testament to his hard work and dedication.

13. Fatmir Bushi

Fatmir Bushi is an Albanian athlete who achieved success in weightlifting. He began his career in the 1980s and competed in several national and international competitions, including the 1992 Summer Olympics.

At the Olympics, Bushi competed in the men’s Featherweight Division and achieved a respectable finish.

He finished in 11th place overall and was the only Albanian weightlifter to compete in the Olympics that year. Bushi’s success in weightlifting was remarkable considering the obstacles he faced.

During his career, he had to overcome economic and political constraints that hindered Albanian athletes from competing at the highest levels.

Despite these challenges, Bushi was able to reach the Olympics and make his country proud. Following his retirement from weightlifting, Bushi has become a successful entrepreneur. He has opened several gyms across Albania and is known for his philanthropic work.

He has also become a mentor and role model for young athletes, encouraging them to pursue their dreams and strive for success. Fatmir Bushi is a testament to the power of perseverance and dedication.

He has achieved a great deal of success in the face of adversity and his legacy will live on for generations to come.

14. Gert Trasha

Gert Trasha is an Albanian weightlifter with a remarkable history. At only sixteen years old, he became one of the youngest weightlifters to ever make an official Olympic debut.

In 2004, Trasha represented his nation of Albania in the Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, marking a momentous occasion for both him and his country.

Not only was it a great honor for Trasha to be part of such a prestigious event, but it also demonstrated Albania’s commitment to the sport of weightlifting.

As the youngest weightlifter in the competition, Trisha was an inspiration to many, showing that with hard work and determination, anything is possible. He is a reminder of the potential of youth and what it can achieve.

15. Ymer Pampuri

Ymer Pampuri was a pioneering athlete from Albania. He made history in the 1972 Summer Olympic Games by becoming the very first Albanian to break an Olympic record. This accomplishment was further cemented by his becoming the first Albanian to be crowned a World Champion.

Additionally, his victory in the military press competition made him the last World Champion in the discipline, as it was no longer allowed to be practiced internationally after 1972. Pampuri’s achievements were a source of pride for his native country.

He was a trailblazer in more ways than one and set a high standard for Albanian athletes to follow. His success was a testament to the hard work and dedication that it takes to succeed in the world of competitive sports.

Despite the fact that the military press discipline is no longer practiced, Pampuri will always be remembered for his outstanding achievements and trailblazing spirit.

16. Lindita Kodra

Lindita Kodra is a highly accomplished shooter from Albania who has achieved great success in multiple shooting events. Her most notable achievement came at the 2008 Summer Olympics, where she competed in the 10m air pistol and 25m pistol events representing her country.

Kodra has also competed in the 2006 ISSF World Shooting Championships in Zagreb, Croatia, where she finished 27th overall in the 10 m Air Pistol event with 376 points. Kodra is a dedicated shooter who is focused and driven in her pursuit of excellence in the sport.

She puts in countless hours of practice and is always looking for ways to improve her skills.

Her hard work and commitment have paid off, as she has been able to achieve success on the international stage. Kodra is an inspiration to aspiring shooters and shows the importance of commitment and dedication to achieving greatness in any sport.

With her steady improvement in competition, she is a role model for young shooters looking to make a name for themselves in the sport.

Her success is a testament to the hard work and dedication she puts into her craft and is an example of what can be achieved with the right mindset.

17. Majlinda Kelmendi

Majlinda Kelmendi PMM is an accomplished judoka and judo coach who hails from Kosovo-Albania. She has a long and impressive record of sporting achievements and in 2014 she achieved one of her greatest successes to date.

That year, Majlinda topped the IJF Women’s Prestige World Ranking List. This prestigious list ranks female judokas worldwide and Majlinda’s spot at the top of the list is a testament to her ability, dedication and hard work.

It is a remarkable accomplishment for any judoka and Majlinda should be proud of her achievements.

18. Shkëlqim Troplini

Shkëlqim Troplini was an accomplished Albanian wrestler who represented his country in the 1996 Summer Olympics. He was born in 1974 and was trained in wrestling from an early age.

He had a successful career, winning several national and international tournaments, and was considered one of the best wrestlers in Albania. In 1996, he was chosen to compete in the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

He competed in the freestyle wrestling event in the light heavyweight division and put up a strong showing, advancing to the quarterfinals. Unfortunately, he was knocked out of the tournament in the quarterfinals and was unable to medal.

Nevertheless, his impressive performance in the 1996 Summer Olympics was a great source of pride for the Albanian people. He remains a beloved figure in his home country and his accomplishments are still remembered and celebrated today.

19. Enkelejda Shehaj Bekurti

Enkelejda Shehu is an Albanian shooter who has competed in both the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympic Games. She was born in Albania but now resides in Naples, Florida and is an American citizen. She competed in the women’s 10 metre air pistol event at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

In addition to her Olympic career, Shehu is also a businesswoman. She and her husband own a Greek restaurant in Naples. This is a testament to her ambition and dedication to excellence, and her ability to excel in any arena she chooses.

She is a role model for aspiring athletes and entrepreneurs around the world.

20. Leonidas Sabanis

Leonidas Sabanis is a renowned Greek retired weightlifter who has represented Greece in three consecutive Summer Olympics from 1996 to 2004.

Born in southern Albania, Sabanis has also had the privilege of representing Greece in numerous international weightlifting competitions, including the World Championships, where he achieved great success.

In 1998, he was named the Greek Male Athlete of the Year, a testament to his tremendous achievements in the sport.

Throughout his career, Sabanis was known for his dedication to the sport, his determination to excel, and his commitment to representing his country at the highest level.

He was a role model for aspiring athletes, and his career spanned many years, during which he won numerous medals and awards. Sabanis’ extraordinary accomplishments have earned him the respect of his peers and the admiration of his fans.

Today, Sabanis is retired from competitive weightlifting, but his remarkable legacy still resonates with those who seek to emulate his achievements. He is remembered as an exemplary athlete who pushed the boundaries of the sport and represented Greece with pride and dignity.

He will always be remembered as a true champion and a shining example of athletic excellence.

21. Viktor Mitrou

Viktor Mitrou is a retired Greek weightlifter who began his career representing Albania. However, after gaining international recognition, he switched to representing Greece.

As a result of his hard work and dedication, Mitrou was able to win a Silver Medal for his country in the 2000 Summer Olympics. This was a remarkable feat for Mitrou, and his success propelled him to a level of world-wide fame and admiration.

Since retiring, Mitrou has been a strong advocate of weightlifting and the Olympics, often speaking of his experiences during the 2000 Summer Games.

His achievements have been an inspiration to many, and have shown what can be accomplished for those who are dedicated and passionate about their sport.

22. Savva Lika

Savva Lika is a retired Greek javelin thrower who achieved a great deal of success during his career. He was born in Greece in 1977 and began competing in the javelin throw at a young age.

He quickly gained recognition for his impressive throwing abilities, and he was eventually invited to compete in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.

He also competed in other international competitions, such as the World Championships and the European Championships. Throughout his career, Savva Lika was able to break several records with his javelin throws.

He set a new Greek record with his best throw of 89.45 meters at the European Championships in 2006.

He was also able to win a bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, which was the first medal ever won by a Greek at the Olympics in the javelin throw. Savva Lika retired from javelin throwing in 2010 and since then has been focusing on coaching and mentoring younger generations of throwers.

He has been working to develop the javelin throw in Greece and abroad, and his influence can be seen in the success of many young Greek throwers.

He has also been involved in several charitable initiatives, helping to raise money for causes such as cancer research, education, and poverty relief. Savva Lika is a great example of a successful Greek athlete and a true inspiration to aspiring throwers.

His dedication to the sport and his commitment to helping others is an example to be admired and followed.


The best Olympic players in Albania have achieved outstanding success in their respective sports. They have achieved World and Olympic records, set benchmarks for future generations of athletes, and become a source of inspiration and motivation for the nation.

Their hard work and dedication to their sport have brought them much deserved recognition and admiration. They are a true testament to Albania’s commitment to excellence in sports and to the power of hard work and dedication.

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Tom Kershaw

As a sports reporter at The Times & The Sunday Times, my passion lies in covering Olympic sports. With years of experience in the field, I have had the privilege of witnessing and reporting on some of the most thrilling moments in sporting history. From the adrenaline-pumping races on the track to the intense battles in the pool, I strive to capture every moment with accuracy and enthusiasm. My goal is to provide readers with comprehensive coverage that goes beyond mere scores and statistics, delving into the stories behind each athlete's journey and showcasing their triumphs and challenges. Having covered multiple Olympic Games, I understand the importance of delivering timely and engaging content that keeps readers informed and entertained. Whether it's a feature article highlighting an underdog's remarkable rise or a live blog capturing the excitement of a nail-biting final, I am committed to delivering top-notch reporting that brings the Olympic experience to life. With my deep knowledge of various Olympic sports, coupled with my strong storytelling skills, I aim to provide readers with a unique perspective on these incredible athletes and their pursuit of greatness. As a sports reporter at The Times & The Sunday Times, I am dedicated to bringing you all the latest news, insights, and memorable moments from the world of Olympic sports.