The tiny landlocked country of San Marino had previously participated in 14 Summer and 10 Winter Olympics since 1960 without ever winning a medal.
Now the population of 34,000 is celebrating two medals in the last three days in Tokyo.
Shooters Alessandra Perilli and Gian Marco Berti won silver in the new trap mixed team event on Saturday, falling by the slimmest of margins to Spanish duo Fatima Galvez and Alberto Fernandez in the final. It was Spain’s first gold medal of Tokyo 2020 and its first gold medal in shooting.
Madelynn Ann Bernau and Brian Burrows of the United States took bronze.
Berti, who is a full-time lawyer and part-time shooter, said “I’m happy for myself, for my family and for my country. Our country is very small and for a small country it’s incredible to be here.”
Perilli, who missed only two targets in the gold medal match, said “I am so happy, not only for the medal, but also for my performance in the final.”
The silver medal for San Marino, a microstate surrounded by Italy, comes two days after Perilli had won bronze in the women’s trap.
Her achievement on Thursday meant San Marino became the smallest country by population to win a medal at the Olympics. She had finished fourth in trap at London 2012, missing out on a medal in a shoot-off.
It’s been a good week for the little guys. Flora Duffy won the women’s triathlon on Tuesday, giving Bermuda, with a population of 64,000, its first gold medal at an Olympics.