5 Of The Most Incredible Sporting Moments From The Commonwealth Games 2022 - Men's Health Magazine Australia

5 Of The Most Incredible Sporting Moments From The Commonwealth Games 2022

It always promises to deliver moments that not only unite a nation but stand to be remembered for generations to come, and for those athletes competing in Birmingham at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, their performances were nothing short of extraordinary.

We’ve been spoiled when it comes to sporting competitions of late. With the postponement of Tokyo 2020 pushing the Olympics back, it feels like only yesterday that our daily routines were governed by the schedule of the international sporting competition’s events. More recently, we had the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, with many Australians who had tested their mettle against the world’s best only going on to line up once again, just weeks later, in Birmingham for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. 

The Aussies have always looked to assert their dominance at the Commonwealth Games, but this year’s team surpassed all expectation, encapsulating a level of talent that many have deemed the strongest in our sporting history. Consisting of 351 able-bodied athletes and 76 para-athletes and eight guides, the Aussie team competing in Birmingham this year is the second largest contingent in history behind the 2018 Gold Coast representative. 

Within this group were a number of names that commanded attention, giving it all in their chosen sporting pursuits with feats of endurance, strength, tactical skill and sheer grit that will forever be burned on the consciousness of a nation as we look to remember the epic moments they delivered to us by means of sporting entertainment for decades to come. 

As the Games promptly wrap up in the next day, here we’re looking back at five of the most incredible moments to have come out of Birmingham. Whether it was in the pool or on the track, our Australian athletes once again proved that while Australia may be relatively small, it can still produce some of the greatest talent the world has ever seen. 

Ollie Hoare

In what is being deemed one of the greatest 1500m races of all time, Ollie Hoare stunned audiences with a perfectly executed race which saw him take out the world champion and break a Commonwealth Games record in the process. Evoking memories of Australian icon Herb Elliott with a final kick that saw him come past his competitors, Hoare triumphed in the race and brought an end to a 64-year drought when it comes to Australian success in the race. 

At just 25-years-old, it was a remarkable performance by Hoare who set a new Games record of 3:30.12. As commentator Bruce McAvaney explained, “It’s an extraordinary moment in Australian sport. It’s one of those that we will etch in the history books forever and how lucky we are to have been here and for you to have watched it. The last 100m is the stuff of legends.”

Peter Bol

He carried the hopes of a nation on his shoulders and didn’t disappoint by way of the 800m final. But while many were hoping Bol might come away with the gold, he won silver behind Kenya’s Wyclife Kinyamal. Still, in what was a remarkable race in which Bol attacked early and managed to hang on for second, he proved that he can handle pressure well and never gives anything short of his best in competition. 

“I felt like the favourite. I knew there was a lot of pressure, a lot of expectations,” Bol said after the race. “But at the same time, in our sport pressure’s a privilege. We know it’s there. And I was relaxed, really confident. [I] felt really strong. I thought I could really win it tonight. I just came short and can’t say any more than that.”

Kyle Chalmers

After being engulfed in a media storm surrounding what was reported to be a “love triangle” threatening to break up the Australian swimming team thanks to Cody Simpson and Emma McKeon, Chalmers did what he did best: stayed focused, put his head down, and got to work. It saw the swimming champion win gold in the 100m freestyle event, touching the wall in 47.51 seconds to beat England’s Tom Dean and Scotland’s Duncan Scott. 

With a finger to his lips after completion of the race, Chalmers’ victory was proof not only of his greatness, but the fake news that had plagued his Commonwealth Games journey. Chalmers spoke openly in his press conferences and detailed how reports from the media – most of which are unfounded and have no truth to them – can have a significant impact on someone’s mental and emotional wellbeing. “It is social to win but unfortunately I think it is hard to enjoy the moment when all that has happened has gone on,” said Chalmers. 

“It makes it a challenging time. I am grateful that I was people – able to block it out enough to stand up and win tonight. I hope this is a learning point for everybody. And I hope nobody else has to go through what I have gone through.” 

Kurtis Marschall

Marschall produced a stunning Commonwealth Games campaign to defend his gold medal in the men’s pole vault. Joining the likes of Steve Hooker – the man credited as first inspiring Marschall to take up the sport – he won back-to-back pole vault titles amidst stiff competition, clearing 5.70m to beat the English duo of Adam Hague and Harry Coppell, who won silver and bronze respectively. 

Aaron Wilson

He’s known for his epic sporting celebrations, and Aaron “Disco” Wilson didn’t disappoint when he won a singles gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in the lawn balls. Living up to his ‘party boy’ reputation, Wilson didn’t hold back after securing the victory, which saw him become the first lawn bowler in 44 years to win consecutive men’s singles titles. Wilson triumphed over Northern Ireland’s Gary Kelly with 21-3 in the final, before going on to celebrate. 

“I wish I had a better rig, but that’s life,” he said, after ripping off his shirt and jumping for joy in a repeat of his celebrations on the Gold Coast just four years ago. “I certainly was pretty happy with my performance. That [body] has been well seasoned.”

By Jessica Campbell

Jess is a storyteller committed to sharing the human stories that lie at the heart of sport.

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