Charlotte Wingfield wins the first gold medal for Malta at the Small Nations Games

Maltese athlete Charlotte Wingfield won the first gold medal for Malta at the Small Nations Games after winning the women’s 100m final.

Wingfield registered a result of 11.62 to place first ahead of Patrizia Wan Der Weken of Luxemburg and Andreou Paraskevi of Cyprus.

This result means that Malta is currently sixth with six medals. Earlier on today, the Maltese athletes won silver during the Men’s Raffle Doubles and the Women’s Road Race Team. In addition, Mikhail Umnov also managed to place second in the Men’s 200m Butterfly.

Malta also won two bronze medals through the Men’s Road Race Team and Andrew Chetcuti who placed third during the Men’s 100m freestyle.


2017 edition under way

The 2017 Games of the Small States of Europe got under way with an opening ceremony at the Serravalle Olympic Stadium, in San Marino, last night. Athletes and delegates from nine countries took part in the march past with flagbearer Charlotte Wingfield leading the way for Team Malta. This is third time that San Marino are playing hosts to the Games after the editions of 1985 and 2001.

Source: 2017 edition under way

MOC wants to improve on 2015 result in San Marino

Julian Pace Bonello is confident Team Malta are prepared to produce a strong performance at the upcoming Games of the Small States of Europe in San Marino as the Maltese Olympic Committee yesterday unveiled its contingent for the 17th edition of the GSSE between May 28 and June 3. Team Malta will be travelling to San Marino – the world’s oldest republic – with 88 athletes. They will participate in 12 different sports.

Two years ago in Iceland, the MOC returned home with a modest 31 GSSE medals – four gold, nine silver and 18 bronze.

Expectations are high this time, however, with competitions like clay shooting and bowls, where our athletes traditionally do very well, are back on the programme.

“We will be heading to San Marino with high hopes,” Pace Bonello told reporters yesterday.

“We only accepted nominations from the associations involved of those athletes we believed could challenge for a medal or establish a new national record at the Games.

“Our intention is clear… we want to improve on the result achieved in Iceland two years ago but it will not be easy.

“True, the GSSE programme in San Marino is more favourable to us than two years ago but we have also lost some key performers including Kevin Moore, winner of two gold medals in 2015.”

A quick glance at the list of athletes for San Marino shows some familiar faces will return to the GSSE fold.

Seasoned shooter Frans Pace, a multiple medal-winner in trap competitions, was selected in the team along with double trap favourite William Chetcuti.

The women’s volleyball team will also make a return after a 14-year-absence. Their last participation at the Games was in Malta 2003.

The MOC will also field a strong cycling squad in both men’s and women’s categories as the Aquatic Sport Association will be represented by the biggest squad ever in the GSSE – 12 swimmers.

Charlotte Wingfield will again play a leading role in track and field after racing to two gold medals in Iceland.

The Maltese Olympic Committee highlighted her importance in the squad when naming her the country’s flag bearer for the opening ceremony in Serravalle on May 28.

Australia-based sprinter Kevin Moore, gold medal winner in the 200m and 400 metres in 2015, is out of the equation despite successfully clearing his name following doping violations charges last year.

Meanwhile, Maltese archers will be making their debut in the GSSE later this month with a men’s team formed of Daniel Schembri and Patrick Zammit.

Foreign athletes

Pace Bonello pointed out that the number of foreign athletes in the other countries’ selections was a major concern for the MOC, adding that the stance is leaving a negative effect on the Games.

“We have been active speakers in meetings with GSSE delegates about the number of foreign athletes in these Games,” he said.

“Monaco, for instance, will field a team of 120 athletes and only 20 of them are based in the principality. The others are all foreigners. We will continue to raise awareness on this situation. But in San Marino we must keep all this in mind when discussing the quality of other countries and the opposition our athletes will have to compete against to seal podium positions.”

The MOC, Pace Bonello added, are also eyeing the 2019 edition of the Games, in Montenegro.

He said local associations have already received notification of the budget they can allocate on the technical preparation for their athletes following an agreement between MOC and SportMalta.

Source: MOC wants to improve on 2015 result in San Marinonull

Chef de mission urges athletes to stay focused

Malta’s chef de mission William Beck has urged MOC athletes not to let the upcoming General Election take away their focus from the Games of the Small States of Europe in San Marino. This year, the biennial Games will be held between May 28 and June 3, the latter date coinciding with the General Election here.

Beck said that the Maltese Olympic Committee had to switch their travel plans to ensure that all members forming part of the contingent will be able to vote before their departure on May 27.

He appealed to the coaches and officials that once the team arrives in San Marino they must ensure that all athletes focus solely on the Games.

“The Games this year have provided us with a new challenge in the form of the General Election,” Beck said.

“We made all the necessary arrangements so all members of the team will be able to cast their vote. However, we hope that once that procedure is completed everyone dedicates all his/her energy to make sure they perform to their best during the Games.

“Our primary goal in San Marino will be to try and limit outside interferences that can hamper our athletes’ concentration and I’m confident that all administrators and coaches present will help us to provide the best environment for our athletes.”

Mario Micallef, the technical director, said that Team Malta will include a bigger group of athletes than two years ago in Iceland and that he was confident the athletes’ performances will prove that the MOC was right to include them in their selection.

“Our contingent is slightly bigger than two years ago but one has to keep in mind that we are competing in two team sports this time,” Micallef said.

“We are competing in all 12 disciplines in San Marino and the expectations will be very high.

“We are trying not to apply any extra pressure on our athletes as it could affect them negatively.

“But we have a lot of faith in their abilities and I’m sure they will make us proud with the results they achieve.”

Team Malta

Archery: D. Schembri, P. Zammit.

Athletics: L. Bezzina, M. Croker, C. Debono, I.P. Grech, D. Saliba, L.M. Bezzina, F. Borg, S. Busuttil, M.L. Camilleri, A. Chouhal, P. Dalli, R. Fitz, J. Richard, R. Sare, R. Schembri, A. Vassallo, J. Vella, C. Wingfield.

Basketball: H. Al Tumi, M. Bonett, S. Brincat, E. Cassar, C. Curmi, S. De Martino, C. Grima, J. Grima, N. Handreck, G. Mifsud, S. Pace, A. Vella.

Beach volley: D. Bonnici, G. Zarb, R. Balzan, M. Raffa.

Bowls: D. Farrugia, R. Farrugia, S. Farrugia, G. Gemelli.

Cycling: E. Bonello, M. Formosa, J. Mifsud, A. Pettett, P. Scicluna, S. Alden, M.C. Aquilina, M. Vella Wood.

Judo: R. Zammit.

Shooting: G. Azzopardi Spiteri, G. Chetcuti, W. Chetcuti, B. Dimitrov, C. Farrugia, B. Galea, F. Pace, W. Vella, E. Bezzina.

Swimming: J. Bugeja, A. Chetcuti, M. Galea, M. Stafrace, M. Umnov, T. Wareing, M. Zammit, M. Azzopardi, F. Falzon Young, A. McGonigle, A. Micallef, L. Tanti.

Table tennis: V. Lucenkova, J. Pace.

Tennis: M. Asciak, O. Sudzuka, F. Curmi, E. Genovese.

Volleyball: A. Agius, D. Bonnici, A. Borg, L. Cordina, M.A. Costa, I. Cutajar, S. El Gasi, M. Falzon, T. Gatt, Z. Malasevksa, F. Sarcina, S. Spiteri.

Source: Chef de mission urges athletes to stay focused