Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022 closing ceremony

Commonwealth Games Birmingham 2022 closing ceremony


Diving stalwart Melissa Wu carried the Australian flag at the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony in Birmingham.

Wu was given the honor after competing at her fifth Commonwealth Games.

The 30-year-old is a triple gold medalist – her latest gold came in Birmingham on the synchronized 10m platform with 14-year-old Charli Petrov, the youngest member of Australia’s team.

Wu was the sole flagbearer at Monday night’s ceremony and led about 250 Australian athletes and officials into Alexander Stadium.

”Melissa competed at her fifth Games, which is an incredible achievement in itself,” Australia’s chef de mission Petria Thomas said.

”She has been an outstanding representative of Australia for a number of years now.

”It has been an outstanding Games for Australia. Here in England we knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but the team has performed extremely well.”

The final day in Birmingham ended in seventh heaven for Australia’s men’s hockey players.

Australia finished atop the medal tally – but only just.

England was two medals behind, with 176.

The 178 won by Australian athletes comprised of 67 Gold, 57 Silver and 54 Bronze.

The 1994 Games in Victoria, Canada, remain Australia’s best Commonwealth Games in terms of gold medals – 87. And overall, the 221 medals in 2006 in Melbourne remain the nation’s benchmark.

But the team chief cautioned against measuring Australia’s Birmingham team purely on numbers.

“They have been great ambassadors for Australia,” Ms Thomas said.

“Regardless of whether they won medals or not, we are just super-proud of everyone.

“The special part of it is, regardless of the outcome, it’s the spirit with which they compete.

“They never give up. They compete as hard as they possibly can. And at the end of the day, that is all we can ever ask of them.

“They conduct themselves in an exemplary way.”

The wonder from Wollongong, Emma McKeon, was the unrivaled star of these Games.

The swimmer collected six golds, a silver and a bronze. If she was a country, she would have finished 14th on the medal table.

McKeon swam through uncharted waters, setting historic marks.

She now has 20 medals in her glittering commonwealth career, more than any other athlete. And 14 are gold. Again, more than anyone.

Australia has plenty of other champions to be proud of, with the tally showing our athletes medaled in all but two of the 19 different sports.

Badminton and squash were our weak points.

Here’s a quick round up of our achievements on the final day in Britain.

Kookaburras win seven straight

The Kookaburras won a seventh consecutive Commonwealth Games gold to catapult leader Eddie Ockenden into rare air hockey.

Monday night’s 7-0 annihilation of India was a fourth title for Birmingham flag bearer Ockenden, drawing the modest champion level with Kookaburras legend Mark Knowles on the Games medal tally.

The victorious Australian team celebrates its seventh consecutive men’s hockey gold in Birmingham on Monday. Photo: AAP

A potentially testing examination between the Tokyo Olympic silver and bronze medalists quickly became a celebration of Australia’s hockey entertainers on the Games’ final day.

They exploded out of their semi-final slumber – a 3-2 defeat of England on Saturday being a rare vulnerable moment – ​​to score five first-half goals and all but order team staff to place the champagne on ice.

No gold but nine-medal Lay still smiling

All things come to those who wait – and Jian Fang Lay’s golden smile in her latest Commonwealth Games table tennis near-miss suggests she may not be quite finished yet.

In her 50th year and on the final day of her sixth Games, the queen of Australian table tennis grabbed the ninth Commonwealth medal of her distinguished career on Monday.

Only one problem. Once again, for Melbourne’s try-try-and-try again 49-year-old mum of two, it was of the wrong hue.

Striving to at last strike that elusive gold after 20 years of perseverance, Lay and her partner Minhyung Jee were comprehensively beaten 11-1 11-8 11-8 by the brilliant Singapore pairing of Tianwei Feng and Jian Zeng in the women’s doubles final.

But was Lay, who now owns a remarkable five silvers to go with her four bronze, disheartened that she’d enhanced her frustrating record of being the most bemedalled Games athlete without a gold?

Not a bit of it.

”No, it’s unbelievable! After 20 years I still keep my level – to get a silver, that’s unbelievable,” she said.

”Of course, I’m jinxed for gold, but the opponents are so strong, you know. We just tried the best.”

Asked if she felt she was an inspiration to other women of the same age, she burst into laughter, ”I didn’t think I was 49 years old out there – but at the finish, I know my age!”

Mixed synchro divers snare Games silver

Despite scant practice together, Australian divers Maddison Keeney and Shixin Li have won a silver medal in the mixed synchronized three-metre springboard at the Commonwealth Games.

Keeny and Li only started training together a week before arriving in Birmingham.

”It was our first time diving together (in competition),” Keeney said.

”We haven’t been really practicing together a lot and we have also got very different styles.

”We had our first session a week before we came over here.

”It was a last-minute decision to enter into mixed synchro and Shixin has always wanted to have a go at it with me so I was like ‘Yeah, why not’.

”It was difficult, but we had a lot of fun.”

Despite the limited preparation, Keeney and Li almost grabbed gold – they finished just 1.98 points behind Scotland’s James Heatley and Grace Reid.

Australia’s Domonic Bedggood and Anabelle Smith finished fifth.

In the synchronized mixed 10m platform final, Australia’s Cassiel Rousseau and Emily Boyd finished fifth and compatriots Bedggood and Melissa Wu placed eighth.

-with APA