How the home nations compared to their previous best Commonwealth Games display

·3-min read
The home nations enjoyed a successful Commonwealth Games (Tim Goode/PA) (PA Wire)
The home nations enjoyed a successful Commonwealth Games (Tim Goode/PA) (PA Wire)

The home nations won a combined 275 medals including 85 golds to make Birmingham 2022 among their most successful Commonwealth Games ever.

England led the way with 57 golds, behind only Australia in the medal table, and 176 in total, while Northern Ireland set national records and Scotland and Wales also thrived.

Here, we look at how the home nations compared to their previous best performance and where the medals were won.

All-time high?

 (PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

The host nation’s gold medal tally was just one short of the national record of 58, set in 2014 in Glasgow, while they beat their previous best of 174 overall medals in the same Games.

They won a record 66 silver medals and added 53 bronze, third-most behind Glasgow and Manchester 2002.

Northern Ireland’s overall numbers were understandably far lower, with a team of just 97 to England’s 438, but there is no argument they enjoyed their best ever performance.

Seven gold medals beat the nation’s previous record of five back in 1994, while for the second Games running they picked up seven silvers. An overall total of 18 medals comfortably exceeded their 36-year-old record of 15, which was based around a record nine bronze medals in Edinburgh in 1986.

 (PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

Scotland finished in double figures for gold and hit 50 total medals, in each case for only the second time. Their 13 gold and 51 medals trailed only their home Games in Glasgow eight years ago, where they had 19 gold and 53 medals.

Wales came up just shy of their best performances but their eight gold medals trailed only the 10 they achieved last time out on the Gold Coast and in 1990 in Auckland. With 28 medals altogether, they ranked fourth in their history behind the 36 at each of the last two Games and 31 in Manchester.

Also deserving of a mention were the Guernsey team who recorded multiple medals for only the second time. While they were unable to add to their only gold, from shooter Adrian Breton in 1990, Lucy Beere won silver in lawn bowls and Alastair Chalmers’ 400 metres hurdles bronze was their first ever track and field medal.

Where the medals were won

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

While there were English golds in 14 of the 20 sports on the programme, their performance was powered by dominance in a handful of sports – not least triathlon, with four gold medals from the five on offer.

Alex Yee won the men’s event and led out the victorious relay team, also featuring Sophie Coldwell, Sam Dickinson and Georgia Taylor-Brown, while David Ellis and Katie Crowhurst won the men’s and women’s visually impaired categories respectively.

Taylor-Brown added silver in her individual event, finishing behind Dame Flora Duffy – representing Bermuda, where she was born to two English parents.

England also won 10 of the 14 gold medals awarded in artistic gymnastics – Jake Jarman with four and Joe Fraser three, including combining in the team event – and added another in the rhythmic category courtesy of Marfa Ekimova’s all-around title.

Diving was another fruitful arena with six golds out of the 12 on offer, with Jack Laugher, Noah Williams and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix all winning both individual and synchronised titles.

Northern Ireland’s boxers were similarly prolific, winning gold in five of the 16 events with siblings Aidan and Michaela Walsh among the winners.

Scotland’s best performances came on rink and ring, with bowls and boxing providing three golds apiece, while Wales won two golds in both athletics and boxing – 12 out of 16 golds in the latter went to home nations competitors.