The Maltese Olympic Committee announced that Rugby Sevens will make its first appearance in the Games of the Small States of Europe in the 2023 edition in Malta after the local governing body of elite sport revealed the list of disciplines to be held on our shores in four years’ time.
MOC president Julian Pace Bonello and Director of Sport Ivan Balzan told a news conference on Monday that delegates of the participating countries had approved the list of sport submitted by the governing body for the 2023 Games.
The submission of Rugby Sevens was a pleasant surprise to many officials from the fellow small countries who welcomed the news with great satisfaction.
Apart from Rugby Sevens, the Malta Games will also see the return of squash and sailing, two sport in which Maltese athletes always shone at GSSE level.
Suffice to say that the last time squash was in the Games, in Liechtenstein 2011, Malta’s men and women’s teams returned home with four gold medals.
Sailing’s last appearance in the Games was in Cyprus 2009 and this discipline also regaled a lot of memorable emotions to our team after succeeding in winning seven gold medals in five inclusions since the Games birth in 1985.
Another major novelty in the Malta sporting schedule is the inclusion of basketball 3x3 which will also be making its first appearance in the Games in Andorra in two years’ time.
It is interesting to point out that Malta could have a stand-out candidate to train the Malta Basketball 3x3 selection for the upcoming Games.
This because women’s national team coach Angela Adamoli has established herself as one of the world top coaches in the sport after guiding Italy to the world title in the Philippines last year.
The other sport to be contested in Malta 2023 are athletics, swimming, judo, tennis, table tennis and shooting.
Volleyball will not be one of the sport at the Malta Games but the other GSSE countries have made a request to the MOC to include beach volley.
The GSSE countries have also sounded out the possibility of introducing Paralympic sport in the GSSE through the disciplines of swimming and athletics.
With regards tonext edition in Andorra 2021, Jaume Mandico, the president of the Andorran Olympic Committee, was named as the president of the Games.
The Andorran NOC confirmed the programme of sport for the next edition of the Games.
Apart from the traditional sport – swimming, tennis, table tennis, shooting and target shooting, volleyball, basketball and beach volley, there will be the return of cycling to the Games which will consist of road racing as well as mountain bike.
Gymastics will also be back on the sport schedule, in the Artistic and Rhytmic form as well as taekwondo while Karate is set to be held for the first time ever.
Meanwhile, during the GSSE Bureau meeting, attended by the president and general secretary of each NOC, an election for a new general secretary was held with Luxembourg’s Marc Theisen picking up more votes than his rival Andri Stefansson, of Iceland.
Theisen succeeds San Marino’s Angelo Vicini. Monaco’s Jean Pierre Schoebel was confirmed as president of the GSSE Technical Committee while San Marino’s Christian Forcellini retained his place as vice-president.
At the end of the meeting, the GSSE delegates have rebuffed a motion from the Montenegro NOC that pushed for the ‘guest’ inclusion, outside competition, of track and field athletes from the Vatican State.
Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.Support Us