One of the most memorable Commonwealth Games in history was brought to a close at Alexander Stadium on Monday, as Birmingham put on a show fitting of the biggest games. Legendary Ozzy Osbourne wrapped up the show alongside Black Sabbath, while fellow Brummie locals UB40, Jaykae, and Beverley Knight also dazzled.
However, it was the star athletes that took centre stage for the eleven days prior to the Closing Ceremony, and they put on an excellent show in front of the most-attended Commonwealth Games in history. Birmingham 2022 will remain one of the pioneering multi-sports events in history long after the dust has settled, as there were more medals for women than men for the first time, while the inclusion of para-events on the typical Commonwealth programme enabled every athlete to have their moment in the spotlight.
Across 280 sports, there were medals awarded, and some of the biggest stories from the past two weeks can be found right here.
Much of the big action came from Alexander Stadium, as athletics once again delivered some of the standout moments from the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Australia topped the medal standings with ten golds in athletics, while England had the most overall medals with seven golds, 15 silvers and 12 bronzes. However, some of the standout moments from the track involved neither of the top two. One of the most poignant moments came as Scotland's Eilish McColgan won gold in the 10,00m.
At the age of 31, she followed in the footsteps of her mother, who had won gold in the same event in the games in 1986 and 1990. Not to be outdone on the biggest night at Alexander Stadium, Katarina Johnson-Thompson delivered a famous gold for England, as her comeback was complete. In the para events on the track, a star was born in the 100m, as Olivia Breen for Wales shocked home favourite Sophie Hahn to win gold, while Alex Sion Davies won gold in the discus to win gold for the second game in a row.
England claimed success in the 4 x 100m relay, but the women were dramatically disqualified in their 4 x 400m bid after a lane infringement gave Canada the win. Jamaican superstar Elaine Thompson-Herah ensured there was more success in the forms of the 100m and 200m, while Jamaica’s Janieve Russell won the 400m hurdles.
One of the most popular events throughout the Games came from Sandwell Aquatics Centre, as diving and swimming medals were up for grabs throughout the eleven-day schedule. Australian dominance was clear for all to see, as they won 25 golds, 21 silvers, and 19 bronzes to lead the medal table.
In the men’s, there were dominant performances from Kyle Chalmers, Samuel Short, and Elijah Winnington. Host nations were riding on the recently returned Adam Peaty. Injury issues meant he missed out on a medal in the 100m breaststroke, but he stormed back to win the 50m breaststroke a couple of days later, meaning that he has now won every gold available at the Commonwealth Games.
In the women’s, it was all about the Australians. Emma McKeon set the record for the most medals in Commonwealth Games history, with victories in the 50m freestyle and 50m butterfly being the pick of her runs. Mollie O’Callaghan also won gold, while Ariarne Titmus won three golds in the pool. A new star may have been born in the form of Summer McIntosh, as the Canadian won golds in the 200m individual medley and 400m individual medley.
In the parasport, there were golds for Matthew Levy, Nicholas Bennett, and Joshua Willmer in the men’s. Meanwhile, Maisie Summers-Newton and Bethany Firth were among the winners in the women’s. However, the lasting story may have come in the form of Alice Tai’s gold, as she won the top prize in the 100m backstroke S8 just six months after having her leg amputated.
We also got to enjoy a lot of excellent diving action at the Commonwealth Games, and there was no shortage of home glory. Of the 12 golds available, England won six, while included wins for Jack Laugher, Daniel Goodfellow, and the pair of Matty Lee and Noah Williams.
Madison Keeney ensured that Australia got in on the action, as she won gold in the 3m springboard and synchronised 3m springboard. However, it was Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix that was the star of the show. The English teenager won three medals across the competition, including gold in the 10m platform.
England enjoyed their best ever competition in gymnastics, as the hosts won eleven of the 20 golds available. The men won the top prize in the all-around final, while Jake Jarman won four golds in total; the most by any male English gymnast. Home town star Joe Fraser also won two golds, while Cypriot Iias Georgiou ensured England didn’t win golds in all-male events.
England’s women won the all-around final, while Georgia-Mae Fenton and Alice Kinsella added further success. There were also two golds for Georgia Godwin for Australia, while Kate McDonald also won a gold for the Aussies.
One of the reasons why this Commonwealth Games worked so well is the fact that every sport was embraced by fans. For the first time ever, cricket was included in the schedule, and Australia captured gold in an emphatic manner in the final against India. Beach Volleyball was another sought-after ticket in Birmingham, with Australia winning the men’s gold and Canada winning the women’s gold.
The success of 3x3 Basketball at the Olympics ensured that it would also achieve success in Birmingham. Canada won gold in the women’s and wheelchair women’s events. Meanwhile, England’s men won the gold, while Australia captured gold in the wheelchair men’s event.
Australia and New Zealand dominated on the bikes, with the Aussies winning eleven golds and the Kiwis winning ten. Aaron Gate, Rohan Dennis, Georgia Baker, and Grace Brown ensured a clean sweep for Australia in the men’s and women’s road race and time trials. England won just two golds, but few were as dramatic as Laura Kenny’s in the Scratch race.
In netball, it was a success for Australia, who beat Jamaica in the final. Meanwhile, England got the better of the Aussies in the women’s hockey final, winning gold for the first time at the Commonwealth Games. However, it was Australia that picked up the last gold in hockey, consequently winning the men’s event.
With the overwhelming amount of medals won by Australia, one begins to wonder if Australians are simply better at sports. No offense to others, of course!
Just like four years ago, Australia topped the medal standings in Birmingham, as they won 178 medals in total, including 67 golds. They also completed the most podium sweeps in Birmingham, with all coming in the swimming. England finished second overall with 176 meals in total, including 57 golds, which meant that they had won more medals in Birmingham than any previous Commonwealth Games. Canada finished third overall, while India enjoyed excellent games, finishing fourth.
Online sports betting punters who wagered on Australia certainly won big. Those who are interested in staking their own wager in the next Commonwealth games, or any other sporting event can prepare themselves using our beginner's guide to sports betting online.
Finally, the Gold Coast in four years' time will have massive shoes to fill after Birmingham 2022. The whole city, as well as the West Midlands, embraced the Games and ensured that it was a period that the whole Commonwealth was brought together. Birmingham highlighted itself as the multi-cultural city that it truly is and embraced every nation participating; highlighted by the fact that over 1.5 million tickets were sold.
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