Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 5th 2014 Contents A60
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, August 5, 2014
What started under perfect blue skies ended,
more appropriately for a city nicknamed Rain
Town, with torrential storms.
The 11 Glaswegian days in between were similarly
in character---sometimes noisy, sometimes contro-
versial, but seldom dull.
Commonwealth Games often begin as apologetic
events. There is as much talk about what they re
not---principally the Olympics, but also uniformly
world class, or the most important event in that
year s sporting calendar---than what they could be.
For them to feel successful they need three things:
big names, big performances and big crowds.
Glasgow had all three. In doing so it confirmed
something else about the Commonwealth Games:
that what makes them special is precisely the fact
they aren t like anything else.
So it was that the most memorable performances
came as much from unknowns as the superstars.
For every gold medal won by Olympic champions
such as Kirani James, Alistair Brownlee and Anna
Meares, new names emerged who could only have
been brought forth by a Commonwealths.
There was 16-year-old gymnast Claudia Fraga-
pane---4ft 5in, hoping merely to make a few finals,
leaving as the first Englishwoman to win four gold
medals at a single Games in 84 years.
There was Ross Murdoch, overshadowed by
poster-boy favourite Michael Jamieson before their
200m breaststroke final, a new Scottish hero after
it, having not only snatched gold but done so by
improving his personal best over the day by six sec-
No wonder he swore afterwards. And there was
rhythmic gymnast Frankie Jones, almost single-
handedly dispelling the pre-Games gloom about
Wales medal prospects by winning five of them on
her own and another as part of the team, which
There were also great contests. South Africa hand-
ed New Zealand their first defeat in Commonwealth
Australia s women stole hockey gold from England
by equalising in the last ten seconds and then pol-
ishing them off on penalties. A far smaller distance
separated gold and silver in the men s 10,000m won
by Moses Kipsiro than in the 100m strolled by
The loudest noise of the Games came when Ham-
pden Park roared Lynsey Sharp to 800m silver after
she had spent the previous night in the clinic in
the athletes village, drip in arm and vomit in mouth.
A day later, England s Jo Pavey fought her way
to 5,000m bronze less than ten months after giving
birth to her second child. In a month s time she
will turn 41.
A Commonwealths can sometimes feel like the
FA Cup to the Champions League that is the
Olympics---bolstered by its long history as much as
its future, defined by the quirky and the outsider,
weakened by big boys putting out weaker teams.
Kenya s Vincent Onyangi had never swum in open
water before diving into Strathclyde Loch for the
triathlon. Twenty minutes later he was bobbing
around doing breaststroke while the leaders were
onto their bikes.
It also had its tear-jerkers: Scotland s Euan Burton
coming out of retirement to fight his way to judo
gold, two years and two weight categories on from
losing in his first bout at London 2012; Jazz Carlin
becoming Wales first female swimming gold medal-
list in 40 years, having missed the Olympics through
illness; 13-year-old Shetland islander Erraid Davies,
trained in a 16m pool, winning SB9 100m breast-
stroke bronze and celebrating with the best smile
of the fortnight.
Her fellow teen, Nigerian weightlifter Chika
Amalaha, provided one of the darker moments when
a failed drugs test led to her being stripped
of her 58kg title. Former 400m world
champion Amantle Montsho was another
thrown out of the Games for doping. Welsh
team captain Rhys Williams failed to even
make it to Scotland after news of his own
positive test at the Glasgow Grand Prix on
special because they're unique
GLASGOW 2014 FACTS
Almost 3.5 million people passed
through the city's Central Station
More than 50,000 cuddly
Clyde Mascots were sold
1.2 million tickets were sold
An estimated 100 tonnes of fruit and
vegetables were consumed
171,000 people attended the Rugby
Sevens---a record for the sport
Links Archive August 4th 2014 August 6th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page