The 2001 Small Nations Games in San Marino crowned Laurie Pace as one of Malta's best judokas ever.

Coming out of retirement with the sole aim of defending the -57kg gold medal she won in Liechtenstein in 1999, Pace showed her class as she brushed aside all opposition on way to a second consecutive GSSE gold.

Her success helped the Malta Judo Federation to its best result in the Games history with a total of eight medals - two gold, two silver and four bronze.

Pace, a bronze medal winner at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, achieved her feat with a top-notch performance in the final when she took just five seconds to beat Andorra's Maria Lopez Fernandez with an ippon decision. Pace improved her overall medal tally in the Games to two gold and three silver medals.

2001 quote - Laurie Pace

"I went all out for victory and I'm glad to have executed my job perfectly. Here, I want to thank the MOC for convincing me to come out of retirement and represent Malta one more time.

"With no Maltese judoka in this category, it was easier for me to reverse my decision and start training again."

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