Recently recognized Kosovo athletes start training for Rio Olympics

PRISTINA, Kosovo — A week after gaining provisional recognition from the IOC, Kosovo is already preparing in earnest for the 2016 Olympics.

Swimmers and table tennis players are in training as Kosovo gets ready to send an independent team to the games in Rio de Janeiro.

Memli Krasniqi, Kosovo’s minister of culture, youth and sports, says "now our athletes will be able to represent their country, represent their flag and compete with their national anthem."

Despite objections from Serbia, the International Olympic Committee executive board granted provisional recognition to Kosovo last week. Full recognition will be voted on at the IOC assembly in Monaco in December — which should be a formality.

Lum Zhaveli, a 24-year-old swimmer, says "I feel wonderful as an athlete because we are going to have a chance to compete against other athletes and finally become equal to all of them."