Maltese fighters brought home a bag of medals upon their return from the European Taekwondo Championships for the Small States.
The ranked competition, held in San Marino, fielded athletes from several small states including Andorra, Cyprus, Faroe Islands, Isle of Man, Luxembourg, Monaco, Montenegro, and of course San Marino and Malta.
Leading the fray was Malta’s sole senior national athlete – Mamadou Balde – who earned his second international medal, a bronze, after winning his way to the semi-final of the tournament.
The fight turned heads, especially after Balde won the first of three rounds of his semi-final. A controversial disqualification in the third round, however, led to his elimination.
Balde featured with Lovin Malta earlier this year after donations from friends and fellow martial artists powered his first-ever participation at an international tournament abroad. A tournament that he medalled in.
In the same tournament, female youth athletes Michela Scerri (-37kg) and Alycia Cassar (-51kg) walked away from their respective sets with bronze medals, while male youth athlete Nathan Degiorgio (-53kg) walked away with silver.
Speaking with Lovin Malta was the President of the Malta Taekwondo Association, Anna Vassallo.
“We are a small team, but every player is working hard to make each moment count.”
“Competitions within our shores are few and far between – again, because of our small numbers, which means that our athletes have to work and train extra hard to be able to achieve the results at international level.”
“Doing well in these games was nothing short of an achievement, and now it is up to us and them to keep the momentum going for all future endeavours, which include the European Championships to be held in Malta come November.”
Share to show your support for Team Malta after their impressive medal haul