The others got a welcome look in at the Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku on Tuesday following days of total domination by hosts Azerbaijan and giants Turkey.
The two biggest delegations still ended the day well ahead of the other 52 competing nations, but at least there was some sharing of the spoils on a day when both swimming and athletics were on the schedule.
And it was at the Baku Olympic Stadium, the centrepoint of the much-admired Games Opening Ceremony, that this was in most evidence.
Azerbaijan took four out of the 10 golds up for offer, but there were titles also for African nations Senegal, Gambia, Morocco and Senegal.
In the blue riband event, Turkey's Ramil Guliev stunned the field with victory in the men's 100-metre final as pre-race favourite Femi Ogunode endured a nightmare evening.
Guliev progressed to the final under the radar after he recorded modest times during the morning session on the first day of athletics, but a rapid time of 10.06secs when it mattered most saw him clinch gold at the Olympic Stadium.
Asian Games and Asian Championships gold medallist Ogunode had earlier spoken of his desire to break Usain Bolt's world record, but it proved to be a chastening evening for Qatar's Asian record holder as he pulled up when well placed for the medals.
Gambian sprinter Gina Bass roared to victory in the women's 100-metre final as she held off Uzbekistan's Nigina Sharipova to strike gold in 11.56secs.
Bass was the fastest qualifier in 11.51secs and despite not matching her time in the final, she held off the fast-finishing Sharipova who took silver.
In the weightlifting hall, the three golds were shared between Egypt, Iraq and Iran, while in shooting there were two golds for Iran and one for Saudi Arabia.
The swimming competition though saw normal service restored as Azeris and Turks dominated.
Maksym Shemberev helped Azerbaijan move up to second place in the swimming medal table as he claimed his third and fourth golds of the event.
Turkey's gold rush continued with victory in six of nine finals on a busy day at the Baku Aquatics Centre.
Iran claimed two titles on the first day of the taekwondo competition, in front of an excitable crowd.
In the women's under-46kg final at the Baku Sports Hall, 2011 world championship bronze medallist Rukiye Yildirim claimed the first taekwondo gold for Turkey thanks to a late show against youngster Dhean Fajrin.
Iranian Nahid Kiyanichandeh edged a tense -53kg final to prevent fellow teenager Zeliha Agris from making it two out of two for Turkey.
Yaprak Eris got the hosts on the gold-medal board in the -57kg category, before -54kg fighter Mahdi Eshaghi overturned a big deficit to beat home hope Gashim Magomedov on a golden point and grab victory number two for Iran.
Uzbekistan's Niyaz Pulatov took the last title of the day in the -58kg, after final opponent Omar Lakehal had to withdraw.
© Agence France-Presse