Matt McIn­er­ney picks his top 10 mo­ments from an in­cred­i­ble Comm Games

The Western Star - - SPORT -

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.”

My hero.

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.

Photo: Matt Roberts/Getty Im­ages

GOLDEN MO­MENT: Kurt Fearn­ley of Aus­tralia cel­e­brates as he races to the line to win gold in the Men’s T54 marathon.

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