As the closing ceremony signifies the end of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the Australian team will undergo a review of their overall performance as they look to the 2018 Gold Coast Games, after placing second on this year’s medal tally, well behind England.
Fairfax reports, this year’s Games saw a below average performance for the Australian team who finished on a total of 137 medals, 49 of them gold. England, still riding high from the London Olympics, finished triumphantly on the top of the tally, winning 58 golds from a total of 174 medals.
Australia’s Chef de Mission Steve Moneghetti says it is not so much that Australia has performed below expectations, but that England has performed better than anticipated. “I think England have performed really well, give credit to them. So I think they’ve probably achieved higher and we’ve probably achieved about what we expected, so you know that gives us a challenge too,” Moneghetti said.
The Glasgow Games were the first in 64 years without a weightlifting gold medal, least successful triathlon performance ever, saw a poor gymnastics showing and the worst wrestling performance since 1970. According to Fairfax, due the federal government’s post-London funding policy, some teams and athletes will now be under review.
“We’re pretty happy with the overall performance of athletes generally, but certainly there are some sports in an evaluation sense will look back and certainly dive into a bit of detail,” said Australian Institute of Sport chief executive Matt Favier. “With some sports we’ll be having conversations with them around their performance here, and what does that indicate for us as a nation.” Despite the lacklustre finish, some on the Australian team won some well-deserved gold on the final days of the Glasgow campaign.
As expected, The Kookaburras continued their dominance of the Commonwealth Games gold, winning 4-0 over India, almost repeating the Delhi 2010 final. In slippery conditions, The Hockeyroos too claimed final victory, after securing a late penalty corner and then winning a shoot-out to beat England after a 1-1 draw.
Shelley Watts made history, becoming the first Australian gold medallist in women’s boxing with her win over India’s Laishram Devi and Andrew Moloney made it a double for Australia with his win over Pakistan’s Mohammad Waseem.
In netball the Diamonds beat New Zealand 58-40 in the gold medal final. David Palmer and Rachael Grinham teamed up to claim gold in the mixed doubles squash final, also beating their English counterparts. Palmer and partner Cameron Pilley also claimed men’s doubles gold.
On the track, despite the drama that surrounded her Glasgow campaign, Sally Pearson beat rival Tiffany Porter and claimed gold in the women’s 100m hurdles. Alana Boyd defended her 2010 gold and again won the women’s pole vault. Dani Samuels won gold on discus and 18-year-old Elenaor Patterson celebrated her major championships debut with a gold medal win in the women’s high jump.
In diving, Matthew Mitcham and Domonic Bedggood took out the top spot in the 10m synchronised platform and Esther Qin followed up her bronze in the 1m springboard with gold in the 3m event.
At the Glasgow closing ceremony the Commonwealth flag was formally presented to Australian representatives from the Gold Coast, where the Games will be held in four years. The ceremony too was not without its controversy, when Australian steeplechase athlete Genevieve Lacaze crashed Kylie Minogue‘s performance, jumping onstage with the troupe of dancers before being escorted off by security.
Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, who is in Glasgow, says there are lessons to be learned from the 2014 Games. “Obviously technically we must go to school on everything that has happened here in Glasgow, steal all the good ideas, and try to come up with some of our own, but what we have to replicate is the great hospitality. I’m sure Australians will do that,” Sir Peter said.