Patrizia van der Weken of Luxembourg won women's 100m gold in Malta ©Getty Images

Francesco Sansovini of San Marino and Patrizia van der Weken of Luxembourg claimed the respective men’s and women’s 100 metres titles on the opening day of competition which saw Malta enjoy plenty of home success at the Games of the Small States of Europe.

Sansovini sprinted home in 10.41sec to secure gold, beating Cyprus’ Stavros Avgoustinou and home favourite Beppe Grillo who posted 10.63 and 10.66 respectively for the other two podium spots.

There was also sprint success for van der Weken who crossed in 11.11 for the title.

Cyprus’ Olivia Fotopoulou had to settle for silver in 11.36, while San Marino’s Alessandra Gasparelli finished in 11.47 for bronze.

Aside from the sprint events and the men’s discus throw which was won by Montenegro’s Danijel Furtula, the first day of athletics competition was dominated by Malta.

The first of their gold medals was won by Peppijna Dalli who registered 3.65 metres to win the women’s pole vault crown.

This was followed by three golds in the space of 15 minutes for Malta as Claire Azzopardi landed 6.14m to win the women’s long jump title before Jared Micallef and Gina McNamara captured the respective men’s and women’s 800m crowns.

Micallef came out on top in 1:50.22 before McNamara triumphed in 2:12.46.

Malta also finished the day with back-to-back success on the track as Jordan Gusman won the men’s 10,000m title in 29:37.96 before Lisa Bezzina clinched women’s 10,000m gold in 35:27.43.

Cyprus were the dominant force in today’s men’s judo competition, claiming seven golds, one silver and six bronzes.

Petros Christodoulides, Georgios Balarjishvili, Kyprianos Andreou, Aristos Michael, Georgios Kroussaniotakis and Giannis Antoniou claimed gold in the respective men’s under-60kg, under-66kg, under-73kg, under-90kg, under-100kg and over-100kg divisions, while Sofia Asvesta captured the women’s under-52kg title.

Monaco claimed two gold medals with Rania Drid winning the women’s under-63kg crown and Florine Soula sealing the women’s under-70kg title.

Montenegro picked up a gold courtesy of Nikola Gardasevic’s win in the men’s under-81kg division, while Katryna Esposito ensured women’s under-48kg success for Malta.

The squash finals were also contested, with Malta’s Colette Sultana beating sister Lijana Sultana to win the women’s singles crown and David Maier overcoming Luca Wilhelmi in an all- Liechtenstein men’s singles gold-medal showdown.

Iceland and Cyprus enjoyed much of the success in the swimming pool as they claimed three gold medals each.

Three of the first four finals were won by Cypriots, with Agathi Manoli winning the women’s 200m butterfly title in 2:22.56, Kalia Antoniou sealing the women’s 100m freestyle gold in 54.86 and Nikolas Antoniou claiming the men’s 100m freestyle crown in 50.27.

Eva Falsdottir won Iceland’s first gold with victory in the women’s 200m medley final in 2:21.74.

Compatriot Birnir Halfdanarson touched the wall first in 2:07.08 to claim top honours in the men’s 200m medley event.
Iceland also bagged the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay title in 3:48.67.

Luxembourg claimed two golds, with Florian Frippiat winning the men’s 200m butterfly final in 2:05.31 and Max Mannes earning the men’s 200m backstroke title in 2:06.31.

There was also double delight for Monaco in the pool as Giulia Viacava emerged victorious from the women’s 200m backstroke final, winning in 2:17.31 before Theo Druenne triumphed in the men’s 800m freestyle final in 8:17.44.

Malta won men’s 4x100m freestyle relay gold in 3:30.78, while San Marino’s Arianna Valloni bagged the women’s 800m freestyle title in 8:58.89.

Competition is due to continue tomorrow with medals set to be awarded in shooting, swimming and table tennis.