GAMES MAGIC FROZEN IN TIME
Matt McInerney picks his top 10 moments from an incredible Comm Games
VICTORY LAP: There was no greater sight than Jacob Birtwhistle charging down the triathlon chute with the massive boxing kangaroo flag over his shoulder.
The Aussies – Gillian Backhouse, Matt Hauser and Ashleigh Gentle – created such a large lead Birtwhistle had time to pick out the flag, take it from an adoring fan, and create one of the Games’ great early moments.
RECORDS TUMBLE: Five world records and countless Commonwealth Games records were set and smashed during three days of pure lightning at Anna Meares Velodrome.
Most impressive was Australia’s men’s team pursuit, who became the first quartet to break the 3min 50sec barrier, while the other four world records were broken in para cycling events.
HOMETOWN HERO: Southport’s Michael Shelley saluted at home as he went back-to-back in the men’s marathon.
Shelley overcame Scotland’s Callum Hawkins, who collapsed on Sundale Bridge just 2km from the finish in one of the most distressing scenes in sport, to replicate Robert de Castella’s 1982 and Kerryn McCann’s 2006 feat to win gold in the marathon at a home Commonwealth Games.
LAST GASP: Mamadou Gueye drained a last-second shot from beyond the arc to guarantee Canada a medal in the men’s basketball.
After being 18 points down at the third-quarter break, New Zealand rallied, and a Shea Ili free throw five seconds from time seemingly delivered the Tall Blacks a gold medal match appearance.
But an off-balance Gueye got enough on his wonky shot to deliver one of the moments of the Games.
BRILLIANT BRONTE: The “second Campbell sister” proved she could more than match her sister Cate’s golden reputation with two career-defining performances in the pool.
Bronte Campbell came from nowhere to overhaul her sister in the final moments of the 100m freestyle final, then, after getting the nod ahead of Cate for the 4x100m medley relay final, did it again to beat the highly-fancied Canadians.
MALAWI MAGIC: How can you not be a fan of Malawi netball after these Games?
The Africans caused one of the sport’s greatest upsets when they beat New Zealand 57-53 in the group stages, then beat Scotland by one point two nights later.
Incredibly, a two-point loss to Uganda is all that kept them out of the finals.
BUZZER BEATERS: Joanne Harten’s last second semi-final goal broke England netball team’s 43-year drought – of finishing second!
The Roses have not finished any higher than third at a major international tournament since the 1975 World Championships, and when Jamaica led late in Saturday’s play-off it appeared it would continue.
Jamaica choked and England surged, setting up an Ashesstyle clash for the gold medal.
TOOMEY’S LIFT: The fittest woman on the planet overcame a family tragedy, then an all-ornothing lift to win a memorable gold medal on home soil.
Tia-Clair Toomey’s cousin Jade Dixson was killed in a
crash less than two weeks out from the Games, and was supposed to be in the crowd when the Gladstone woman competed.
She was there in spirit as Toomey successfully lifted 114kg in her last attempt to take gold by just 1kg.
CHLOE’S CALL: Gold medalwinning road cyclist Chloe Hosking reached spirit animal status after her well-deserved Fbomb on live morning television.
She praised her support staff, expressed her thanks to her Australian teammates, then let rip with this quote that perfectly sums up my feelings towards the Games.
“Lots of people say road cycling
at the Commonwealth Games is not a big deal, but you know what? I’m Commonwealth champion and it’s a big f--king deal.”
FEARNLEY FAREWELL: Is there a better human being on the planet than Kurt Fearnley?
His on-track performances – first a silver in the T54 1500m then gold in his pet event, the marathon – were beaten only by his off-field presentations.
During a post-race interview, he put his silver to the side to call for Australians to be more open to providing opportunities to disabled people, cementing his role as the man responsible for this Games’ most inspirational moment.
GOLDEN MOMENT: Kurt Fearnley of Australia celebrates as he races to the line to win gold in the Men’s T54 marathon.