When it comes to the competitive world of sport, there truly are no surprises, and the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games was no exception. History was made during the past twelve days of competition. We’ve seen the oldest and youngest participants of the event’s history; table-tennis playing 11-year-old Anna Hursey from Wales, and 79-year-old full bore shooter Robert Pitcairn from Canada. New records have been created, and others equalled, throughout the duration of the Commonwealth Games and plenty of those fantastic experiences have come from our home nations.
Now the Games have come to an end, it’s now time to reflect on how well our home nations have done at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland have represented strongly during the competition, with England, Wales, and Scotland all finishing within the top ten of the table, while Northern Ireland sat at twentieth by the end of the games.
Starting with England, the country proved its dominance countlessly throughout the games. The Lions secured 45 Golds, 45 Silvers, and 46 Bronze medals. This makes a haul of 136 medals in total for England, with some incredible stories to go with it. The women’s netball team secured a shock win against Australia in the final to win their gold medal, while Jack Laugher won a total of three golds in diving. Other success stories for team England include Nile Wilson, winning three golds in gymnastics and in the athletics, the sprint relay teams won double gold.
For Wales, this is their best overseas results and best Commonwealth Games ever, with them taking 4.1% of the medal share. They took 10 Golds, 12 Silvers, and 14 Bronze medals, making it 36 medals in total and a seventh place finish in the medal table. For some athletes, history was also made. Not only for 11-year-old Anna Hursey, but also for Hollie Arnold who broke the world record with her final throw in the F46 javelin, winning gold in the process. Elinor Barker won cycling gold, and Sammy Lee and Lauren Price secured gold in their respective boxing competitions.
Scotland came just behind Wales on the difference between gold medals, securing eighth place with 9 Golds, 12 Silvers, and 14 Bronze medals. With 44 medals in total, this is also Scotland’s best overseas result and the country’s best haul since 1982. The biggest story involved Duncan Scott who won six swimming medals, upsetting the favourite, Australian Kyle Chalmers. Grace Reid also won gold for her country, becoming the first Scottish diver to do so, while para-cyclist Neil Fachie and pilot Matt Rotherham won double gold.
Finally, Northern Ireland sat at twentieth in the final medal table. They earned themselves 1 Gold, 7 Silvers, and 4 Bronze medals, creating a tally of 12 medals to take back to their country. This haul matches the one from the last Commonwealth Games in 2014 Glasgow. Rhys McClenaghan brought home the only Gold for Northern Ireland by beating Max Whitlock in the gymnastic pommel horse, and brother and sister duo Michaela and Aidan Walsh bring home silver medals in the boxing, with other silver medals coming from other boxing finals and from the trap shooting with Kirsty Barr.
While Australia undoubtedly dominated the 2018 Commonwealth Games with a total of 198 medals in front of a home crowd, we cannot take away from what our Home Nations have achieved in these games. England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland all won a total of 229 medals – if you include the Isle of Man’s only silver of the games. Records have been created, targets have been met, and history has been made. Overall, a rather successful Commonwealth Games for the home nations and they will receive a warm welcome home.