The Australian squad, with a medal tally of 198, were quite a merry bunch at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Carrara Stadium.
Victory has a colour. It’s green and gold. The Broadbeach South bus station is swarmed with fans dressed in the Australian colours. Every day, thousands of spectators take buses to the Games venues from this hub. Today, they are greeted by a cheery driver. “Big news,” he bellows, “Australia haven’t won a medal… in 30 minutes!”
England were soundly beaten by Australia, Scotland and Wales had their best overseas results, and Northern Ireland matched their medal total of four years ago – but what is the reality behind the Commonwealth Games numbers?
Including the Isle of Man’s sole silver, the home nations won 229 medals between them. However, hosts Australia accumulated 198, just 31 fewer, all by themselves on the Gold Coast.
2018 medal table:
198 – Australia bagged these many medals, of which 80 were gold, 59 silver and as many silver. Arch-rivals England were distant second with 45 golds, India next-best with 26.
80 – It’s their equal fourth gold-medal tally at a CWG, the historical high remains 87 golds at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games.
5 – Swimmer Mitch Larkin bagged five medals, the most medals by any athlete in the event. Two Australians —McKeon and fellow swimmer Kyle Chalmers— won four golds. Three other —swimmers Cate Campbell, her sister Bronte and 17-year-old Ariarne Titmus —won three gold.
England leave Australia with a haul of 136 medals but it was a mixed Games for some well-known faces.
According to data analysts Gracenote Sports, Gold Coast 2018 was England’s second-worst performance in the 21 editions of the Commonwealths. They won 16.2% of the medals available, only delivering a lower percentage at Melbourne 2006 (15%) – which was also staged in the northern hemisphere spring.
— 7CommGames (@7CommGames) April 15, 2018
“These championships come very early in the season for athletics,” American eight-time world champion Michael Johnson told BBC Sport.
“Most athletes aren’t used to running multiple rounds in April.”
Sprinter Adam Gemili, who withdrew from the men’s 100m final with injury, said: “We all knew it was going to be in April and had plenty of time to prepare for that. It shouldn’t be an excuse.”
What do the stats say?: 16.2% of all medals won at the Games were by England, down from the 21% share of medals they claimed at Glasgow 2014.
Winners: Diver Jack Laugher and gymnast Nile Wilson both leave with three golds, while there was a stunning gold for the netball team on the final day. On the athletics track, England’s sprint relay teams won double gold.
Disappointments: Double Olympic champion Max Whitlock was tipped to be one of the stars on the Gold Coast, but had to settle for silver on the pommel horse and missed out on a medal on the floor. Swimmer Adam Peaty was beaten in the 50m breaststroke final and Alastair and Jonny Brownlee finished off the podium in the men’s triathlon.