The Commonwealth Games came to a close after 11 days of competition and there were more than a few memorable moments in the poor man’s version of the Olympics. It’s a little weird seeing Australia at the top of the medal table by such a convincing margin.
While it’s always nice to pummel England and New Zealand, the organisers for the next event in Birmingham should consider a mercy rule once any country’s tally reaches over 100 medals.
While the Gold Coast looks to return to embracing meter maids and schoolies, we thought we would salute some of the talking points from the final week of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The Opening and Closing Ceremonies
The only thing that most of us remembered from the opening ceremony was the wardrobe malfunction of one of the performers.
While it may not have completely killed the mood for a large-scale international sporting event watched by millions around the globe, the closing ceremony for the games reminded us why the Gold Coast is the place where sporting careers go to die.
While I am a fan of Usain Bolt for his work on the track, I hope he has more success with his soccer career after his performance as a DJ at the event. While his dance moves with a giant blue koala may not have been completely responsible for empty seats in the stadium it was a performance that rivalled Meatloaf’s effort at the 2011 AFL Grand Final.
Diving is one of the sports of extremes and when it goes wrong, there’s no place to hide. It was a tough day at the office for the Kiwi diving champion in the preliminary rounds of the 1m springboard. The Kiwi champ made a splash for all the wrong reasons when she ended up flopping into the pool on her back.
To make matters worse the judges were forced to hold up scorecards after a computer glitch took out the electronic scoring system. There’s nothing worse than doing a reverse bellyflop and have the Canadian judge giving you a shocking score of zero.
English sprinter Zharnel Hughes thought he had done everything right during the final of the 200m. The English star crossed the line first and was in the midst of doing his victory lap around the stadium when he found out that he’d been disqualified for interfering with Jereem Richards on the finish line. The young English sprinter was able to quickly get back in the good books when he helped the 4x100m relay team win the gold medal.
Norfolk Island Bowls Team
When you have a population of fewer than 2,000 people winning a medal at an international sporting event is a major achievement. Norfolk Island is a tiny place located between Australia and New Zealand. They were sent a team of 18 athletes and went onto win a bronze medal in the lawn bowls. While it isn’t the smallest country at the games, they were one of the happiest with their medal effort.
Malawi Netball Team
The Silver Ferns are the women’s netball equivalent when it comes to international netball. The New Zealand netball team had been in the gold medal matches since netball became an official part of the competition at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games. Malawi pulled off the upset of the games when they were able to beat New Zealand in a pool match 57-53 and put New Zealand’s medal hopes in jeopardy.
Akani Simbine from South Africa pulled off a stunning upset in the men’s 100m final when he upset Jamaica’s, Yohan Blake. After finishing second to Usain Bolt for the majority of his career, it was finally Blake’s chance to walk away with a gold medal. Simbine had other ideas as he relegated the Jamaican to another silver medal performance.
A Scottish swimming champion is like the Wallabies beating the All Blacks; something that happens once a year. Australian Kyle Chalmers was expected to take home the gold in the blue-ribbon event in the pool but fell short when he was upstaged by the flying Scotsman.
Right now, Brandon Starc is the best sportsman in his family. Brandon is the brother of Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc and took his opportunity to win a gold medal in the high jump. While his brother may normally get the plaudits, it was Brandon’s time to shine at the Commonwealth Games.