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Watch: MOC announces Malta contingent for GSSE 2023

The Malta Olympic Committee (MOC) announced the Malta contingent for the Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE) 2023. Photo: MOC

The Malta Olympic Committee (MOC) announced on Friday its contingent for eight of the ten sport disciplines taking place around the island during this month’s Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE).

The Games, being held between May 29 and June 4, will see nine European countries battle for Gold, Silver, and Bronze. MOC president Julian Pace Bonello believes the 214 athletes baring the Malta badge, led by shooter Eleanor Bezzina as the team’s captain, will be valuable ambassadors for the country.

“Today, we have launched our Maltese contingent for the Small States Games held here in Malta. I would like to congratulate all of our athletes and thank them for their effort and commitment towards qualifying for these Games,” Pace Bonello told a press conference.

“As a result of the financial support from the government, the National Development and Social Fund (NDSF), SportMalta, the European Olympic Committee, and our sponsors, all the assistance required by the athletes on the road to qualifying was given.

“We have 214 athletes in different sports – 96 women and 118 men. It is an honour for these athletes to represent their country. We believe these are the best Maltese athletes in their sport right now and they shall be valuable ambassadors.

“Obviously, we are expecting the best performances from each athlete as we would like the best finish possible, a record of Gold medals at least so that it can be part of the legacy of these Games. We know that our athletes have both the potential and talent to do this.”

MOC Director of Sport Charlene Attard, who announced the squad on Friday, remarked that this will be the largest Maltese contingent at the Games and that it will be in a strong position to garner the best of results.

“Cyprus has more than 200 athletes, Luxembourg and Iceland around 150, so we are in the same situation as a team,” Attard said.

“This is our largest contingent and we’re in a position to believe that we can get the best result even when considering the strength of the rest of the other countries’ athletes.”

Asked about the sports expected to fare best, Attard highlighted sailing and squash as their predicted best.

“Like the case of every country in the sports world, we have events which we believe will have the best chance for the top results, setting aside any surprises that may arise. We have sailing and squash which are very strong, and certain parts of athletics as well,” she said.

“In other sports, we have athletes who are individually very strong, but as a team, we want to stress that they are all there to put up performances, and not just take part. We have a mix of young and experienced athletes and we’re expecting our young ones – our future – to give their best in these Games.”

TEAM MALTA

ATHLETICS

Claire Azzopardi, Luke Bezzina, Lisa Bezzina, Nikolai Bonello, Rosalie Borg, Mireya Bugeja, Steve Camilleri, Luke Camilleri, Mireya Cassar, Dillon Cassar, Antonella Chouhal, Joelle Cortis, Alessia Cristina, Peppijna Dalli, Jean Paul Debono, Gaetano Di Franco, Luke Farrugia, Matthew Galea Soler, Ian Paul Grech, Beppe Grillo, Sana Grillo, Jordan Gusman, Armani James, Dario Mangion, Claire McNamara, Gina McNamara, Lloyd Mhiripiri, Jared Micallef, Benjamin Micallef, Josepha Micallef, Luke Micallef Perconte, Bradley Mifsud, Rachela Pace, Thea Parnis Colerio, Graham Pellegrini, Janet Richard, Daniel Saliba, Rebecca Sare’, Carla Scicluna, Martha Spiteri, Simon Spiteri, Kay Testa, Charlotte Wingfield, Jeremy Zammit.

JUDO

Kris Bartolo, Isaac Bezzina, Francesca Catania, Kirsty Cauchi, Katryna Esposito, Sadek Khalaf, Valerian Ogbaidze, James Zahra.

SAILING

Lacey Aquilina, Shaun Aquilina, Samantha Axisa, Jacob Azzopardi, Isaac Azzopardi, Aly Badawy, Nicolai Bartolo, Julia Borg, Kurt Borg, Katrina Briffa, Laidon Buhagiar, Mia Busuttil, Matthew Cachia Debono, Ryder Croft, Ella Demicoli, Alexandr Denisiuc, Emily Fenech, Matthew Flores, Crispin Gauci Peresso, Marianne Heller, Jake Mallia, Gary Mercieca, Lara Merten, Katrina Micallef, Jonas Micallef, Michela Mifsud, Gregory Mifsud Orlando, Michela Mizzi, Aleksandra Nagrudnaia, Maria Nagrudnaya, Dimitrios Pipi – Vertsonis, Maya Podesta, Leonardo Procopio, Luke Rausi, Matthias Spiteri, Tomek Vaccaro, Timmy Vassallo, Benjamin Vassallo, Sophie Villette, Jean Zahra.

SHOOTING

Marcello Attard, Gianluca Azzopardi Spiteri, Eleanor Bezzina, Mariah Busuttil, William Chetcuti, Clive Farrugia, James Galea, Mikela Galea, Matthew Grech, Nico Sciberras, William Vella. 

SQUASH

Bradley Deguara Hindle, Annabelle Diamantino, Niall Engerer, Amke Fischer, Dean Gera, Kresten Hougaard, Johanna Rizzo, Mattea Saliba, Julian Scerri, Duncan Stahl, Colette Sultana, Lijana Sultana, Kijan Sultana, Daniel Zammit-Lewis. 

SWIMMING

Mya Azzopardi, Victoria Balderacchi, Georgia Bohl, Dylan Cachia, Nathan Cachia, Sarah Demicoli, Francesca Falzon Young, Matthew Galea, Maya Galea, Sasha Gatt, Andrea Mallia, Simon Mallia, Nathan McCleve, Amy Micallef, Nirvana Micallef, Kyle Micallef, Michela Portelli, Rudi Spiteri, Michael Stafrace, Raoul Stafrace, Sean Wareing, Thomas Wareing, Thomas Woods. 

TABLE TENNIS

Daniel Bajada, Anthea Cutajar, Gabriel Grixti, Camella Iacob, Viktoria Lucenkova, Dmitrij Prokopcov, Renata Strbikova, Felix Wetzel. 

TENNIS

Matthew Asciak, Francesca Curmi, Alex DeGabriele, Liam Delicata, Elaine Genovese, Emma Montebello, Matija Pecotic, Helen Pellicano. 

For the two team sports, Basketball and Rugby 7s, a provisional squad has been selected, with the final squads being announced closer to the Games.

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