Mon, Apr 16, 9:36am by Head Editor
Hosting an international sporting event always takes years of planning, both for the athletes and for the organisers. That planning paid off when Australia collected their last and 80th gold medal on Sunday afternoon, which saw the hosts top the medal tally, by some distance.
That last gold came when the Boomers, our men’s basketballers, were far too strong (87-47) for Canada. It was an even contribution for the green and gold, with Melbourne United shooting guard Chris Goulding top scoring with 11 points for a team that were never challenged throughout the entire competition, finishing with an average winning margin of 37 points.
Kurt Fearnley started his Sunday by winning the Men’s T54 marathon and finished it by carrying the Australian flag into Carrara Stadium for the closing ceremony while his compatriot Madison de Rozario also claimed gold in the women’s event.
There were five golds in total on the final day of competition, but while Aussie fans didn’t have much to feel disappointed about this fortnight on the Gold Coast, the one result that will leave a bad taste in the mouth came when arch-rival England defeated the Australian Diamonds in a thrilling Netball gold medal match.
Lisa Alexander’s charges led by a single goal at the last break but it was English goal attack Helen Housby who was the hero, scoring after the final siren to hand her nation the gold, in front of a stunned and silent crowd.
The Australian players will now go back to their respective clubs for the Suncorp Super Netball season. The Sunshine Coast Lightning are a $3.25 favourite to win the Championship, ahead of the Giants and the Magpies, at $4.
The crowd was also deathly silent crowd at Robina Stadium when New Zealand’s Kelly Brazier ran 80 metres to score the game-winning try in golden point extra time.
There were 10 gold medals for the hosts on Saturday, including three inside the boxing ring when Harry Gardside won in the 60-kilogram division as did Anja Stridsman at the same weight in the women’s event.
It wasn’t even close when the Opals, our women’s basketballers, rolled past England to claim gold. This came despite star centre Liz Cambage being ejected for following an un unsportsmanlike foul with a technical.
For the swimming team, the Dolphins, it was the most successful Commonwealth Games campaign in history, with the team claiming 73 medals, including 28 golds, a world record and 11 games records.
The medal haul of 198, made up of 80 gold, 59 silver and 59 bronze was an amazing achievement, and surpassed the experts’ predictions. The hope now is that the Aussie athletes can take this type of form to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics.
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