In a bid to boost sports that are not part of the sports programme during the forthcoming Games of the Small States of Europe in 2023, the Maltese Olympic Committee has taken the initiative to host the inaugural edition of the Malta Invitational Games.
These Games, which will take place from tomorrow to Sunday, follow the now defunct Friendship Games which were previously organised by the Maltese Olympic Committee and CONI Sicilia.
Through these Games, Malta is set to welcome approximately 180 athletes representing 10 countries, namely Andorra, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Luxembourg, Montenegro, San Marino and Malta.
This year’s sports portfolio includes bowling, taekwondo and triathlon.
Bowling competitions, which will include singles, doubles and team x4 events, will take place at the Eden Super Bowl in St. Julian’s.
Taekwondo events including flyweight, featherweight, welterweight and heavyweight divisions, have been given ranking status by World Taekwondo and will be hosted at the Qawra Palace Hotel.
On the other hand, triathlon events held on sprint distances will consist of a duathlon, aquathlon and triathlon will take place in three locations – Ħal-Far, Pretty Bay, Birżebbuġa and Salina Bay, Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq respectively.
MOC president Julian Pace Bonello expressed his belief that these Games will provide local athletes with the right platform to gauge their level.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought havoc not least in sport. This event will certainly help our athletes see where they stand when competing against athletes from other Small States,” remarked Pace Bonello.
Whilst the event is still in its infancy, Kevin Azzopardi, MOC secretary general is confident that more will follow this event.
“The response we have received from other small countries is very encouraging and we are confident that this event may continue to grow and expand to include other sports too” added Azzopardi.
In a statement, the Maltese Olympic Committee thanked the Malta Bowling Association, the Malta Taekwondo Association and the Malta Triathlon Federation for their assistance in all the technical and logistical preparations.
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