One of the most pleasing sides to the Commonwealth Games festival of sport is that spectators get to see athletes competing from countries that do not typically enjoy great success at major sporting events. Indeed, many fans may need to reach for their atlases to even work out just where in the world some of the athletes come from. Some of these send very small teams and so are not expected to return with much if any silverware from their tournament experience.

There were many examples in Glasgow, but perhaps one of the most memorable was in the men's 5000m race at Hampden Park, where Rosefelo Siosi of the Solomon Islands was lapped three times on his way to last place but received a fantastic ovation from the crowd.

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The Scots love the underdog and applauded him like one of their own as the 17 year old struggled on to a national record. For the record, the Solomon Islands failed to win any medals but that may be not that surprising for a nation with a population of only around 500,000 in Oceania to the east of Papua New Guinea. 'PNG' themselves, perhaps better known for their rugby league team, faired slightly better with two gold medals to match Northern Island's golden moments.

Perhaps the most memorable Games' memories for the Cook Islands occurred in the Rugby 7s. After overcoming a minor traffic accident on the way to the stadium, they played creditably throughout the tournament to eventually lose in the Bowl final to Canada. The Cook Islands are comprised of fifteen separate islands of which only thirteen are inhabited to form a combined population of around 23,000 people, so their lack of medal chances is hardly surprising.

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Despite this they have still travelled all the way from their homes north-east of New Zealand to each of the Games since 1986.

Saint Lucia and Fiji propped up the medals' table, each winning a bronze medal for their travails. Saint Lucia boasts a population of less than 200,000 and sits in the Caribbean Sea, forming part of the Lesser Antilles. In the history of the Games they have only ever won three bronze medals, and it was the woman who won their previous one, Levern Spencer, who returned home with bronze again in the high jump. Fiji's participation in the Games was in doubt until recently, as a coup in 2006 led to them being suspended from the Commonwealth by the time of the Delhi event in 2010 but they were re-introduced into the Commonwealth in time for Glasgow. Even then they had threatened a boycott due to their Rugby 7s and netball teams not being permitted to compete, since their return was only approved after the draw for those team events had been completed. They relented,but managed only a solitary medal in the weightlifting.

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The smallest team at the Games came from the Norfolk Island, which measures about 8 km long by 5 km wide and is a nation with only a shade over 2000 inhabitants in total. They are distant descendants of the Bounty mutineers. Although they returned home with no medals this time around, they did taste success in 1994 when Carmelita Anderson won a bronze in the women's lawn bowl singles. They must like Scotland though, as their debut was in 1986 when Edinburgh hosted.

However limited their success medal wise at the Games might have been, all of the nations, large and small were warmly welcomed by the Scottish and will no doubt have taken fond memories home with them to the far reaches of the Commonwealth 'family'. No doubt they will return to the Games of 2018 and make their mark yet again. #Athletics