After two weeks of fantastic sporting action, the curtain came down on this year’s Commonwealth Games at yesterday’s closing ceremony in the Gold Coast. The home nations won a total of 229 medals during the Games, and England did not quite manage to beat their 2014 total of 174 medals winning 136 this year.
At yesterday’s closing ceremony, which took place in the Carrara Stadium, all the athletes from the event attended as the baton was passed on to Birmingham who will be hosts of the next Commonwealth Games in 2022.
Aussies Top The Medal Table
Whilst the home nations had a fairly successful time of it down under, unsurprisingly the hosts Australia topped the medal table with a staggering 198 medals to their name, 80 of which were gold. This was their most successful Games since the last time the nation hosted the event in Melbourne in 2006, when they won 221 medals.
England were second on the table with 136 medals, Wales came seventh with 36, Scotland eighth with 44 and Northern Ireland 20th with 12. Another notable addition to the medal table was the Isle of Man who won a solitary silver medal in the shooting courtesy of Tim Kneale. Despite being second place on the medal table, according to data analysts 2018 marks England’s second worst performance at the Commonwealth Games, and the team will be hoping for a better performance in four years’ time in Birmingham.
Jubilation For England’s Netball Team
Undoubtedly one of the highlights of this year’s Games came right at the end as England won gold in netball. This remarkable success marked the first time the country had ever won gold in the event, as they defeated Australia 52-51 in the final. The match went right to the very edge with England scoring a last gasp winner to take victory.
In a sport that is usually dominated by Australia and New Zealand, this victory marked a significant victory for the nation. Coached by Tracey Neville (sister of former footballers Gary and Phil) she said: “Australia and New Zealand have conquered the world for a long time. But we’ve finally broken that seal.”
To put into perspective just how significant this victory was for England here are some key facts regarding the sport:
- This was England’s first ever netball final at the Commonwealth Games
- Australia & New Zealand have shared the five previous golds
- Australia have won seven of the last nine Netball World Cups
- England have only Australia five times in the history for the sport.
Scottish Marathon Runner Collapses During Race
Temperatures soared in Australia this weekend and took their tole on athletes in a range of events. Most affected by the weather was Scottish marathon runner Callum Hawkins who ended up being taken away in an ambulance. Just a mile away from the finish line, spectators were left in shock as Callum fell to the ground due to the severity of the heat.
He had initially refused medical treatment after fearing this would disqualify him but ended up staying the night in hospital but is reportedly in a much better condition. The race was won by Australia’s Mike Shelley, with Ugandan Munyo Solomon Mutai second and fellow Scottish runner Robbie Simpson taking the bronze.
Wales Break Records At The Games
Whilst England may have hoped for better at the Games, fellow home nation Wales had their most successful Commonwealth Games ever. Winning 36 medals, including 10 golds, 12 silvers and 14 bronzes, this year marked their most successful event ever, equalling the 36 medals they achieved in Glasgow in 2014.
Now, the team are hoping many of the athletes who were successful this year, including boxer Lauren Price, gymnast Latalia Bevan and weightlifter Gareth Evans will go on to achieve success at the Olympics and Paralympics.
Team boss Nicola Phillips said: “The future looks very bright. When you look at the number of teenagers we had in the squad, those teenagers were fearless. They weren’t put off by being in a field of world champions or world record holders. If they keep on with the personal bests, the Welsh records we had, there’s no reason why they can’t continue to compete with the best in the world in the way they have here.”
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