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Gibraltar Athletics gets set and ready to go

Gibraltar athletics supporters will not have to wait until the next Island Games to arrive in Gibraltar to support their local athletes against international opposition on home soil.
This Saturday, the Gibraltar Athletics Amateur Association (GAAA) will play host to European Athletics Small States Championships with twenty-four local athletes competing against sixteen other member states. Over 200 international athletes expected to converge upon the Rock for what is their own European championship.
Teams competing include Albania, Armenia, Georgia, Andorra, Cyprus, Iceland, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Montenegro, San Marino, Moldova, Malta, Monaco, North Macedonia and guests Vatican City.
Although it is the GAAA President Frank Carreras who holds the highest position in the AASSE, having repeated as President of the association, Gibraltar on the track and field have yet to come away with a gold.
Gibraltar is the fifth state to host the championships. The first held in 2016 in Malta.
Other hosts have been Liechtenstien in 2018, San Marino in 2021 followed by Malta in 2022. The championship now returning to its biennial schedule after the pandemic disruption.
Cyprus tops the medals tables with 21 gold medals, 20 silver and 13 bronze. Followed by Iceland who hold 14 gold medals, 11 silver and six bronze.
Seventeen teams, including Bosnia and Herzegovina (who are not participating) have won medals in the championships. Gibraltar and Vatican City the sole two states not to have obtained any medals in previous competitions.
The championships originated following discussions between then European Athletics Association president and the Athletic Association of Small States of Europe (AASSE) when once the latter used to send a combined team with competitors from the different states to compete in the European Team Championships.
The decision to create the Small States Championships closing a gap in the athletics calendar and providing smaller states with a chance to compete and a more balanced level.
This weekend’s event will see the GAAA supported by a group of volunteers and supporters, along with local authorities as it prepares to host what is its biggest event following the Island Games.
With both track and field events, plus a specially designed road race for guest athletes to experience road racing up the Rock, the local organisation will be tested in full. This will be the second time it hosts a major international event at Lathbury Sports Complex, although it will be its first official major competition since the complex was completed.
Local supporters are encouraged to turn up to support the Gibraltar team as it seeks to bid for its first medal in the championship. The Small States Championships the biggest sporting event of the weekend.

Team Gibraltar

Athletes:

Abi Evans
Andrew Gordon
Angelique Sheppard-Capurro
Arnold Rogers
Charlene Marin
Charlotte Peat
Craig Gill
Cristina Morgan
Daryl Vassallo
Harvey Dixon
Julian Turnock
Karyn Barnett
Kelvin Gomez
Kim Baglietto
Leon Gordon
Lukas Desoiza
Maurice Turnock
Nadine Vazquez
Norcady Reyes
Rhys Byrne
Sean Peñalver
Silvija Desoiza
Tara Kenyon
Zacarias Ziblim

Team Manager:
Hector Romero

Team Captain:
John Chappory

Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Cyprus (CYP) 21 20 13 54
2 Iceland (ISL) 14 11 6 31
3 Moldova (MDA) 13 19 15 47
4 Luxembourg (LUX) 8 4 10 22
5 Malta (MLT) 5 4 13 22
6 Georgia (GEO) 5 4 3 12
7 Albania (ALB) 5 1 4 10
8 Azerbaijan (AZE) 4 3 1 8
9 Armenia (ARM) 3 6 6 15
10 San Marino (SMR) 3 5 1 9
11 Montenegro (MNE) 3 4 0 7
12 Kosovo (KOS) 2 1 6 9
13 North Macedonia (MKD) 2 0 3 5
14 Monaco (MON) 0 2 1 3
15 Andorra (AND) 0 2 0 2
16 Bosnia & Herzegovina (BIH) 0 1 2 3
Liechtenstein (LIE) 0 1 2 3
Totals (17 entries) 88 88 86 262

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