The National Olympic Committee of Albania raised a toast to the champions of Albanian sports, marking an annual event that is a cornerstone of the country’s sporting calendar. The ‘Sports Stars 2022-2023’ gala, a prestigious ceremony that brings together the crème-de-la-crème of Albanian sports, saw the attendance of not only prominent sports persons but also high-ranking government officials, including Prime Minister Edi Rama.
During the event, a constellation of well-known Albanian athletes were honored for their exceptional accomplishments in their respective sports. The evening began with Zelimkhan Abakariov and Islam Dudaev, who were the first to step onto the stage to accept their trophies from Sahit Prizreni. The weightlifter Briken Calja was honored by former weightlifter Luan Shabani.
In the highlight of the evening, the national football team’s coach, Sylvinho, received his trophy from Prime Minister Edi Rama himself. Bodybuilding champion Gentiana Beqa was honored by the sport’s first champion in Albania, Rando Kukeli. Gymnast Matvei Petrov and his coach, Alon Hasa, were awarded by Ferdinand Mara, marking another memorable moment of the night.
The EOC President Spyros Capralos was awarded for his contribution in the development of sports in Europe and renowned sports figure Pavlina Evro honored Luiza Gega with a trophy. Athletics coach Taulant Stërmasi received a trophy from the great master Aziz Ruli. Taekwondo athletes Ernest Merdanaj and Juirdo Cani were honored by international karate master Enver Cakiqi.