A look at five of the brightest stars of Birmingham 2022.
Emma McKeon (Australia)
Despite attracting unwanted headlines amid her private life, involving Australia team-mates Aaron Chalmers and Cody Simpson, McKeon collected six golds, a silver and a bronze in the pool. Victory in the women’s 50 metres freestyle and butterfly were the unquestionable highlights for the 28-year-old from Wollongong, who has now won 20 Commonwealth medals in three Games, including a whopping 14 golds.
Jake Jarman (England)
The first English athlete to win four gold medals at the same Games since shooter Mick Gault in 1998. Jarman, a 20-year-old competing in his first major multi-sports event, was a gymnastics revelation, topping the podium in the floor apparatus, individual and team all-around competitions and vault. Joe Fraser, who won three golds himself despite a fractured foot, described his team-mate as a “wonderkid”.
Elaine Thompson-Herah (Jamaica)
With Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce skipping Birmingham 2022, fellow Jamaican Thompson-Herah took top billing, backing up her women’s 100m and 200m golds at the Tokyo Olympics last year with another sprint double. Thompson-Herah had arrived in the midlands after a modest showing in last month’s World Championships in Eugene, winning only 100m bronze, but she set a new Games record in the 200m on Saturday night.
Aaron Gate (New Zealand)
The first New Zealand athlete to win four gold medals at a single Commonwealth Games, Gate was the undisputed kingpin on the road and track. He and his fellow Kiwis began by defeating England in the men’s team pursuit while Gate also walked away from Lee Valley VeloPark with top honours in the individual pursuit and points race. If that was not enough, Gate triumphed in the men’s road race.
Madison de Rozario (Australia)
De Rozario seemed to cruise to victory in the T53/54 marathon, defending the gold she won on the Gold Coast four years ago in a Games record one hour and 56 minutes flat, although she later admitted she “hit a wall” two-thirds of the way through. Days later De Rozario was back to defend her 1500m title which she duly did for her fourth Commonwealth gold, the most of any Australian para-athlete.
(Australian Associated Press)