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Latest update: 08/06/2009 18:17 +0300

Small States Of Europe Family Set To Grow

NICOSIA, 26 May 2009 Ė The family of the Small States of Europe may well grow next week. Montenegro is waiting to be accepted in the familyówhich will be decided at the General Assembly of the GSSE scheduled to be held here on 1 June, a few hours before the Opening Ceremony of the XIII Games. If Montenegro is accepted, this will mark the first enlargement of the Movement since its very beginning in 1985.

By definition, for their eligibility in the Games, the Small States of Europe are the countries of the Continent with a population of less than one million.

Montenegro, which gained independence in 2006 when it broke away from the union with Serbia, has a population of 620,000 (2003 census) in an area of 13,812 square kilometres.

The Montenegrin Olympic Committee was founded in 2006 and was officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee at its 119th Session in Guatemala City on 6 July 2007. The MOC had 59 members at its latest General Assembly, in November 2008.

Montenegro first took part in the Olympic Games as an independent nation in 2008 in Beijing, with representation in Athletics (Marathon and Womenís 100m), Boxing (Heavyweight Class), Judo (Menís 81kg), Shooting (Menís 10m Air Pistol and 50m Pistol), Swimming (Womenís 200m Breaststroke) and Menís Water Polo. The Water Polo team was the most successful of the Montenegrin entries, advancing to the bronze medal match, but losing to Serbia 6-4.

Before independence, Montenegrin athletes had competed in Olympic Games under the flags of Serbia & Montenegro at the Athens Games in 2004 and of Yugoslavia before that.

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