Distria Krasniqi is the female judoka of the year ©Getty Images

Kosovo's Olympic champion Distria Krasniqi and Georgian world champion Lasha Shavdatuashvili won the top prizes at the 2021 Judo Awards, as nine winners were crowned.

The ceremony was held online and streamed on the International Judo Federation's Facebook and YouTube pages.

Krasniqi, who won Kosovo's second-ever Olympic gold medal when making her debut at Tokyo 2020 in the women's under-48 kilograms category, won the honor for the female athlete of the year.

In the Olympic final, Krasniqi she defeated home favourite Funa Tonaki of Japan by a single point.

Earlier in 2021, Krasniqi won the European gold medal too with a final victory over Ukraine's Daria Bilodid.

Shavdatuashvili was named the men's athlete of the year, having won a silver medal at the Olympics and a gold at the World Championships.

The Georgian 29-year-old took the men's under-73kg world title in Budapest with victory over Sweden's Tommy Macias in the final.

Shavdatuashvili lost the Olympic final in the same category to Shohei Ono of Japan.

Lasha Shavdatuashvili claimed an Olympic silver medal and world title in 2021 ©Getty Images
Lasha Shavdatuashvili claimed an Olympic silver medal and world title in 2021 ©Getty Images

Infamously, Shavdatuashvili was sent home from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics alongside compatriot and fellow silver medallist Vazha Margvelashvili - for breaching COVID-19 rules after meeting up with a mutual friend from Japan to go sightseeing, while in team colours.

Italian Angelo Pantano won the award for the year's best ippon, recognised for his fantastic throw against Dutch judoka Emiel Jaring at the Zagreb Grand Prix.

Driton Kuka of Kosovo was given the coaching prize for helping the new state to two more Olympic gold medals and Georgian Ilia Sulamanidze was named 2021's rising star after claiming bronze at the World Championships in the men's under-100kg, as well as a world junior title and two Grand Slam medals.

Sulamanidze turned 20 in June.

Sarah Asahina's display of sportsmanship in an all-Japanese World Championships final against Wakaba Tomita after her opponent injured her ankle was recognised as the moment of the year.

Austrian Sabrina Filzmoser was given the community hero's prize, the Judo for Peace refugee camp in Kilis was awarded the Judo for Children accolade and the Israel and Saudi Arabia National Federations were given the Judo for Peace prize for their match at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.