The Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games - We Are England
The Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games
Manchester 2002 diving

The Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games returned to England for the first time in nearly 70 years and records for the host nation tumbled.

In the Queen’s golden jubilee year the city of Manchester had the honour of staging the 2002 Commonwealth Games. The Games, hosted by England for the first time since the London 1934 British Empire Games, took place between Thursday July 25th and Sunday August 4th 2002.

England provided its largest ever team with a delegation of more than 650 including 444 competitors, a third larger than at the Kuala Lumpur 1998 Commonwealth Games and twice the size of the team that competed in Canada eight years earlier.

This bumper team duly delivered by achieving a record medal haul of 165 medals - 54 gold, 51 silver and 60 bronze. This eclipsed the previous record of 144 including 52 gold achieved at the Edinburgh 1986 Games – the last time England topped the medals table and the last Games to be staged in the home nations.

Further history was made when for the first time medals won by Para athletes (then known as EADs – Elite Athletes with a Disability) counted towards the overall medals table, a first not just for the Commonwealth Games but in any major international multi-sport event.

England finished second in the overall medals table but succeeded in narrowing the considerable gap opened up by rivals Australia, who returned home with 207 medals, 82 of which were gold. There was great success to be found in athletics, judo and lawn bowls where England topped each medals table.

It was a record breaking year on the field of play for England too with no less than seven records set.

Athletics stars Paula Radcliffe, Jonathan Edwards (both above) and Ashia Hansen, shooter Charlotte Kerwood and weightlifters Giles Greenwood and Delroy McQueen all confirmed their places in the Games’ history books by setting records.

Swimmer Zoe Baker also set a world record in the 50m breaststroke event whilst Jonathan Edwards’ historic triple jump gold meant he held the World, Olympic, Commonwealth and European championships record simultaneously.

England’s flag bearer at the Opening Ceremony was Darren Campbell, followed by Karen Pickering at the Closing Ceremony.

Next up, Melbourne.