Nearly 900 athletes have gathered in Montenegro to participate in the 18th Games of the Small States of Europe, which holds its Opening Ceremony tomorrow and concludes on Saturday (June 1).
These biennial Games, organised by members of the European Olympic Committees, were first held in San Marino in 1985.
Some 846 athletes will be involved representing nine countries – Andorra, Cyprus, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, San Marino and Montenegro.
All countries have populations of less than a million – other than Cyprus, whose population was less than a million when the event was established in 1985.
The Games will take place in the cities of Budva, Bar, Tivat, Cetinje and Podgorica.
There will be 10 disciplines on the programme – athletics, swimming, basketball, judo, shooting, table tennis, tennis, beach volleyball, volleyball and bowls.
Iceland top the all-time medal table with 1,204 medals, including 479 golds, from Cyprus, who have 1,220 medals, 468 of them gold.
Hosts Montenegro, who joined in 2009, are bottom of the medals table with 71 medals, 35 of them gold.
Among the likely leading performers for the host nation will be men’s volleyball players Jovan Delic and Ivan Zvicer, and women’s volleyball players Anja Pejovic and Milena Burzanovic.
Also likely to feature prominently will be Montenegro’s Paralympic swimmer Ilija Tadic and athlete Kristina Rakocevic, the 2016 discus gold medallist at the International Association of Athletics Federations’ World under-20 Championships.
Rakocevic holds the national records for both discus and shot put, 58.30 metres and 15.38m, respectively.