Here are the top 10 moments from an eventful first day of the 2022 Commonwealth Games on Friday. Women’s cricket made its debut, the host nation bagged the first gold medal, a 15-year-old scripted a record and much more. (DAY 1- FULL HIGHLIGHTS)
Gold rush gets underway
Alex Yee won the men’s triathlon sprint distance event on Friday to clinch the first gold medal of the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games. The athlete from England completed the course in 50 minutes and 34 seconds and took the first place. Yee’s timing for the swim was 8:49 while he completed the cycling course in 26:07s. For the running course, Yee clocked 14:31s. New Zealand’s Herbert Wilde and Australia’s Matthew Hauser were second and third, respectively.
Renuka Thakur sizzles, India sputters on Women’s Cricket CWG debut
In a sensational burst of swing bowling, pacer Renuka Singh Thakur rattled Australia in the PowerPlay by removing Alyssa Healy, Meg Lanning, Beth Mooney and Tahlia McGrath to start India’s defence of 155 in style. Thakur ended with four for 18 from her four overs but the spinners leaked runs as Australia rode on Ashleigh Gardner’s fifty to clinch a three-wicket win in the first-ever Women’s Cricket match at the Commonwealth Games.
Taking the Games by storm at 14
Fourteen-year-old Indian Anahat Singh beat Jada Ross of St Vincent and the Grenadines 11-5, 11-2, 11-0 to reach Round of 32 in the women’s singles squash event. The Grade 9 student from Delhi is the youngest member of the Indian contingent in Birmingham. She qualified for the Commonwealth Games after performing well in the national selection trials. Anahat had earlier bagged the girls’ under-15 title in the Asian junior individual squash champonships.
India does the double over Pakistan
India’s badminton mixed team completed a 5-0 sweep against Pakistan in its opening Group A match. Kidambi Srikanth and P.V. Sindhu breezed past their opponents in the men’s and women’s singles fixtures, respectively. The Indian team bagged a total of 210 points and conceding just 83. In another 5-0 thrashing of Pakistan by India, Shiva Thapa registered an emphatic win over Pakistan’s Suleman Baloch in a men’s 63.5kg first round bout.
The United Kingdom on the podium
It was a complete podium for the United Kingdom as Home Nations Scotland (gold), Wales (silver) and England (bronze) medalled in the Men’s Tandem B 1000m Time Trial Final. Neil Fachie and Stewart Lewis claimed top honours with a timing of 59.938 seconds, setting a new Games Record. James Ball and Rotherham Matthew finished in 1:00.053s for the silver, while Stephen Bate and Christopher Latham clocked 1:02.76s to take the bronze.
Sharath Kamal comes back from the brink
Ace Indian paddler Sharath Kamal pulled off a remarkable comeback during India’s men’s team match against Singapore. After leading 1-0, the Indian trailed 3-9 in the second game to Pang Yew En Koen. Kamal then won eight straight points to take the game 11-9. He eventually won the best-of-five match 11-8, 11-9, 11-9 as India won the tie 3-0. Earlier in the day, India had blanked Barbados 3-0 in the Men’s Team event with Sharath winning his single’s fixture in straight sets.
One ‘Try’ too little for Sri Lanka
Ashan Ratwatte became just the second player from Sri Lanka to score against the mighty All Blacks - the New Zealand Rugby Team. Sri Lanka was trounced 63-5 by New Zealand, which has won the gold in the men’s competition in every edition of the Games, barring in 2014 when it lost to South Africa in the final. Ratwatte scored when Sri Lanka was 28-0 down.
Summer makes a splash at 15
At just 15, Summer McIntosh became Canada’s first gold medallist in this edition of the Commonwealth Games when she won the Women’s 400m Individual Medley final in 4:29.01s to set a new Games Record. McIntosh was a whopping 7.77 seconds ahead of silver medallist Kiah Melverton of Australia. Katie Shanahan of Scotland took the bronze in 4:39.37s. Canada’s youngest swimming world champion, McIntosh now has the third-fastest timing in the history of the event.
Historic gold for the host
Harmanpreet Kaur - the first female half-centurion of CWG
England became the first country to win three consecutive Commonwealth Games gold medals in the Artistic Gymnastics Men’s Team event, ending with 254.5 points to top the podium. The host dominated all six apparatus with home favourite Joe Fraser topping in Pommel Horse and Horizontal Bar. Nursing an ankle injury just two weeks ahead of the event, Fraser defied the odds by adding to his glory of Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018 with a gold in Birmingham 2022.
India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur led her team from the front and became the first woman to score a half-century in the Commonwealth Games, reaching the milestone in 32 balls with an enterprising sweep shot to the backward square leg boundary. Kaur’s 34-ball 52 was instrumental in taking India to a respectable 154 for eight before Ashleigh Gardner eclipsed the captain’s brilliance.