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

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Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Shooting - Women's Trap - Medal Ceremony - Asaka Shooting Range, Tokyo, Japan - July 29, 2021. Bronze medalist Alessandra Perilli of San Marino reacts REUTERS/Ann Wang

July 29 (Reuters) - Tokyo 2020 served up another slice of history on Thursday when San Marino became the least populated country to win an Olympic medal at the Summer or Winter Games.

Alessandra Perilli clinched bronze in the women’s trap shooting, becoming the first person to win an Olympic medal for the microstate of around 34,000 inhabitants.

San Marino replaced Bermuda as the record holder, two days after Flora Duffy won the island nation’s second medal, but first gold, in the women’s triathlon.

The tiny nation based in northern Italy also became the least populous country to win a medal in the summer or winter games, a record previously held by Liechtenstein, who have won 10 Winter Olympics medals.

“We had two sleepless nights. We watched everything live and as soon as we knew that she had won a medal we were in tears,” Perilli’s father Claudio told ANSA.

Perilli, who finished fourth at the 2012 Games in London, went one better nine years later, finishing behind gold medallist Zuzana Stefecekova of Slovakia and USA’s Kayle Browning, who took silver.

“During the final, when the fifth shooter went out, I thought, I don’t want to be one more time in fourth place, so I have to make it,” said the 33-year-old.

“This is the first medal for me and for my country. We are a small country but very proud.”

Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie Editing by Toby Davis

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