Tuesday 30th May 2017
First Medals for Malta as the 2017 Games of the Small States of Europe kick off
It was a spectacular opening ceremony that heralded the start of 2017 Games of the Small States of Europe. A warm welcome was reserved for athletes and officials in the parade before they took their seats to watch a stunning display of waterworks, fireworks and an acrobatic display.
Wingfield strikes gold in San Marino
Charlotte Wingfield handed Malta its first gold medal in the Small Nations in San Marino when she took a dash home first in 11.63 seconds to win the 100 metres final at the Olympic Stadium in Serravalle. This is the second gold medal for Wingfield in a GSSE, when she clinched the title two years ago in Iceland.
Notable performances from Charlton Debono in the 5000m who although placing 4th in 14.57 mins, Debono registered a personal best time of 22 seconds.
Gymnast turned pole vaulter Peppijna Dalli, matched her national record and personal best recording a jump of 3.5m
Beach Volley girls Dorianne Caruana Bonnici and Gertrude Zarb had a tough challenge against Iceland but prevailed with a 2 – 1 victory. Their next commitment was against Luxembourg which they also won. Although giving a good fight Robert Balzan and Manuel Raffa did not manage a win against Cyprus.
In the Road Cycling Race, our cyclists gave Malta their first Medals with the female team (Marie Claire Aquilina, Michelle Vella Wood and Stephanie Alden) clinching Silver and the males team (Etienne Bonello, Maurice Formosa, James Mifsud and Alexander Pettet) claiming bronze.
The first wins of the day were registered by David and Stefan Farrugia in Raffa (Boules) won their first match against Montenegro and Liechtenstein. Hopes for a gold were dashed when they lost to San Marino but quickly fought back against Luxembourg winning with a score of 12-0 to claim Silver in the Doubles Category
Veteran Francis Pace, who is competing in the Games after an absence of eight years, scored 70 out of 75 in the qualifying round for Trap to claim third place on the leaderboard. Brian Galea scored 66 points. The next qualifying round will take place tomorrow from 10am onwards when 50 rounds will be undertaken. Tomorrow will see Eleonor Bezzina (Air Pistol) compete in the afternoon.
Michael Umnov and Andrew Chetcuti provided further cheers to the Malta contingent in San Marino when they won a silver and a bronze medal on the opening day of the swimming competition at the Small Nations Games in Serravalle. Umnov put on a fine showing in the 200 metres fly as he was battling for victory with Raphael Stacchiotti, of Luxembourg. Umnov was second in a new national record of 2:04.73.
The other podium finish at the pool came from Chetcuti in the 100m free-style.
Chetcuti made a storming start and led the way after the opening 50 metres but Luxembourg duo Julien Henx and Pit Brandeburger rallied back to claim the gold and silver medal respectively. Chetcuti was third in 51.14. Matthew Zammit, the other Maltese swimmer in the race, placed seventh in 52.43.
Young Mya Azzopardi broke the long standing 200m medley record which until today was held by Gail Rizzo. Her performance saw her enter the finals which also resulted in a National Record
Francesca Curmi won over Hera Bjork Brynjarsdottir of Iceland in two sets (6-0, 6-2), going on to the whilst Matthew Asciak had a tougher nut to crack against Cyprus – nevertheless he overcame stiff competition to win with a score of (6-7,7-5,7-5). Omar Sudzuka lost his match against a strong Luxembourg (6-1, 6-1). More competitions will follow tomorrow with Doubles matches.
Monday 29th May 2017
The Opening Ceremony of the 2017 Games of the Small States of Europe will officially kick off the Games this evening at 9pm in the athletics stadium in Serravalle.
Ceremony can be streamed live on – http://www.smtvsanmarino.sm/
In the meantime throughout the day, athletes continued to undergo training – familiarising themselves with courses and facilities as part of their preparation for the start tomorrow.
Tomorrow morning we will see the first matches in Raffa, when Malta will play against Montenegro at 8:30am. Later on in the morning, at 10am we will see the Cycling team take part in the road race. At the same time Shooters Brian Galea and Franz Pace, the latter making a return to the Games after an eight year absence, will be competing the the Trap event.
Tennis players Elaine Genovese, Francesca Curmi, Matthew Asciak and Omar Sudzuka will play their singles matches, whilst female Beach Volley players Dorianne Bonnici and Gertrude Zarb will play against Iceland and Luxembourg, whilst Robert Balzan and Manuel Raffa will see beach volley action against Cyprus.
The Women’s Basketball team will play against Cyprus at 17:30hrs.
Swimmers Matthew Zammit, Andre Chetcuti, Mikhail Umnov, Thomas Wareing, Francesca Falzon Young, Leah Tanti, Amy Micallef and Mya Azzopardi will also start their competitions.
The Maltese contingent has been joined by a number of Maltese journalists from various media houses who will be giving regular reports throughout the week.
Sunday 28th May 2017
Teams have been settling in and undergoing some orientation and training, ensuring gear is in order and ready for the week ahead. Weather is warm verging on hot but all seem to be taking it in their stride.
Smiles throughout the day!
Saturday 27th May 2017
Team Malta left for San Marino for the forthcoming Games of the Small states of Europe which will start on Monday early this morning.
The Maltese contingent is accompanied by coaches and officials from the Maltese Olympic Committee and prior to flying out those members of the contingent who were eligible to vote were taken to Naxxar to vote. This was made possible through the cooperation between the Maltese Olympic Committee, the Electoral Commission and Air Malta.
The contingent was welcomed upon their arrival in San Marino by the Chef de Mission Mr. William Beck and the rest of the delegation which arrived yesterday. Spirits are high and are looking forward to a good week of competition.