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'Small but proud': San Marino shooter makes Olympic history in Tokyo

'Small but proud': San Marino shooter makes Olympic history in Tokyo

Bronze medallist Alessandra Perilli of San Marino reacts during the medal ceremony for the Tokyo Olympics women's trap at the Asaka Shooting Range on Jul 29, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Ann Wang)

TOKYO: A tearful Alessandra Perilli described San Marino as "a small country but very proud" after the shooter won its first Olympic medal ever with bronze in Tokyo.

With a population of about 34,000, the independent micro-state surrounded by Italy is the smallest Olympic member to bag a Games medal.

The 33-year-old Perilli is the woman who made history for San Marino, whose first Games was back in 1960, after she finished third in the trap final on Thursday (Jul 29).

"I am very proud because we worked to get here," said Perilli, who wept tears of joy after receiving her bronze.

Alessandra Perilli of San Marino ejects her shells as she competes in the women's trap at the Asaka Shooting Range in Tokyo during the 2020 Summer Olympics on Jul 29, 2021. (Photo: AP/Alex Brandon)
Bronze medalist Alessandra Perilli of San Marino celebrates after the women's trap at the Asaka Shooting Range in Tokyo during the 2020 Summer Olympics on Jul 29, 2021. (Photo: AP/Alex Brandon)

Perilli, who was born in the Italian city of Rimini but became a citizen of San Marino at 18, was already San Marino's most successful Olympian with her fourth-placed finish at the London 2012 Games.

"In London we got near the medal, but not on the podium. Now we have reached the podium," she said.

"This is not my first Olympics, but this is the first medal for me and for my country.

"We are a small country but very proud."

READ: Stefecekova, Liptak win trap golds in Tokyo

READ: Tears of joy as San Marino becomes smallest Olympic medal-winning nation

Perilli said that she expects wild celebrations back home in San Marino, which has four other athletes in Tokyo and is better known for its tourism industry than its sporting prowess.

"They are for sure going crazy, crying," she said.

On Tuesday, Flora Duffy won the women's triathlon for Bermuda, making the island the smallest territory or nation in terms of population ever to win a gold medal at a Summer Games.

Catch the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 LIVE with 14 dedicated channels on meWATCH. Sign in now at mewatch.sg/tokyo2020 and get into the action with Mediacorp, Singapore’s Olympics Network.

Source: AFP/kg

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