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Small Nations Games open

Maltese double trap shooter William Chetcuti (left) giving the flame to representatives of the other countries taking part in the Small Nations Games. Picture: Chris Sant Fournier.

Maltese double trap shooter William Chetcuti (left) giving the flame to representatives of the other countries taking part in the Small Nations Games. Picture: Chris Sant Fournier.

A spectacular opening ceremony, weaving colour, dance and fireworks into one memorable event, lifted the curtains on the Xth Games of the Small States of Europe at the National Stadium, Ta' Qali yesterday. A short speech by Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee, was followed by President of the Republic Guido de Marco declaring the GSSE Malta 2003 open as leading double-trap shooter William Chetcuti completed the final lap of the torch relay that started on Sunday from Mdina. Eight representatives of the participating countries, including Malta's Chetcuti, then lit the Olympic cauldron. The traditional march past by the athletes and officials from all eight nations making up the GSSE also provided one of the main highlights of the ceremony. Malta's flag was carried by middle-distance runner Tanya Blake who walked in front of her fellow GSSE squad members, spearheaded by chef-de-mission Pippo Psaila.

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