Manchester 2002: Highlights - We Are England
Manchester 2002: Highlights
Manchester 2002 cover image

Manchester 2002: Highlights

Beth Tweddle followed up her Commonwealth Youth Games gold with a gold in the individual all-around contest aged just 17. She would later become Britain’s best ever gymnast.

Pete Waterfield’s gold in the men’s 10m highboard final made him the first English diver to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal in 20 years.

Legendary swimmer Karen Pickering secured gold in the 200m freestyle, setting a Games record that further underlined her place as England’s most decorated female athlete. Her two gold medals and one silver took her tally to an incredible 13. Afterwards she simply said “I can’t believe I just did that!”

Zoe Baker’s time of 30.57 seconds record in the semi-finals of the women’s 50m breaststroke set a world record. She went on to win gold in the final.

Karen Legg, Georgina Lee, Jo Fargus and Karen Pickering set a Games record to beat Australia and win the women’s 4x200m relay.

Paula Radcliffe won the 5,000m and set a Games record of 14:31.42, just short of the world record. It was her first major track title. She went on to win the coveted BBC Sports Personality of the Year award a few months later.

Darren Campbell (above) ensured England won gold in the men’s 4x100m relay – but only after officials studied photographs of the finish which showed his perfectly timed dip on the finish line. England and Jamaica had both finished with times of 38.62.

Ashia Hansen watched Francoise Mbango of Cameroon celebrate what she thought was the winning distance in the triple jump, only to jump 4cm further to set a Games record of 14.86m and win gold. She later said: "Because she started waving to the crowd like she'd done it, it made me want it even more... I knew [I'd won]. I don't know how because it was only four centimetres but I just knew… Everything fell into place and it was just fantastic.”

England won all three medals in the 50m breaststroke final thanks to Adam Whitehead, James Gibson and Darren Mew.

Phillips Idowu set a personal best in the triple jump of 17.68m only for Jonathan Edwards to win the gold medal with a massive 17.86m – a gold medal winning distance and the longest jump of the year - that set the Games record.

Commonwealth Games England’s President Dame Kelly Holmes, in her last appearance at the Games, won the women’s 1500m final.

Mike East’s personal best of 3:37.35 saw him win the men’s 1500m final.

Steve Backley won the javelin event with his first throw, winning the contest by almost eight metres.

Daniel Caines crossing the finishing line just 0.01 seconds ahead of Wales’ Elias Matthew in the 4x400m relay.

In the group stage of the badminton competition England were drawn against the might of Malaysia, the team competition favourites. The eagerly-anticipated clash took place on Sunday July 28th with England winning 3-2 thanks to Gail Emms and Jo Goode who won the women’s doubles match.

Bradley Wiggins (above left), still ten years away from his Tour de France and Olympic heroics, won silver in the men’s 4000m individual pursuit.

On the first full day of the Games the men’s gymnastics team, featuring Craig Heap, John Smethurst and Ross Brewer from the victorious Kuala Lumpur 1998 team, retained their all-around title.

Lorraine Shaw set a Games record of 66.83m to win gold in the hammer throw.

Leisa King scored a hat-trick as England’s hockey stars defeated Scotland 6-1 in the qualification stage’s final tie. The team would go on to win silver after a defeat to India in the final that ended in controversy when England lodged two appeals against India’s winning goal that at first was initially ruled out but then allowed.

Samantha Lowe won gold in judo’s 70kg category, taking just a minute and 40 seconds to beat Canada’s Catherine Roberge.

Karen Roberts won judo gold in the 63kg. She would later oversee Team GB’s medal triumph at the London 2012 Olympics whilst still holding the gold medal. Judo would not appear on the Games’ sports programme for another 12 years.

England’s lawn bowls players took both the fours titles at Heaton Park. Ruth Small won gold in the women’s blind event.

England legend Mick Gault (above) secured half the shooting medals that the nation won in 2002 including a hat-trick of golds to go to the four he won in Kuala Lumpur. He became the Games’ most successful ever shooter.

Peter Nicol, who controversially competed for England having already won gold for Scotland at the previous Games, won the nation’s only gold medal in squash along with Lee Beachill in the men’s doubles.

Table Tennis made its debut with England picking up three gold medals and securing second in the sport’s medal table. Sue Gilroy dominated the sport with her performances in the women’s singles wheelchair event.

Delroy McQueen took all three available gold medals in the 105kg weight class setting two Games records in the clean & jerk (210kg) and overall (375kg). He described receiving his medal as ‘the most fantastic feeling in [his] life.’