Team Northern Ireland won a total of 12 medals at the 2018 Gold Coast Games!
Northern Ireland athletes gained the best number of medals in a Commonwealth Games outside the UK with winning performances from over 50 athletes out of 90 who were Top eights.
The medal tally for Team NI was equal to what was achieved four years ago at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, with wins in Gymnastics, boxing, athletics and shooting.
Gold Medal makes history
History was made when Gymnast Rhys McClenaghan won the first Gymnastics and only gold medal for Northern Ireland. In a tremendous show, Rhys beat Olympic Champion Max Whitlock on the Pommel Horse as he held strong in a tough competition to clinch a gold medal.
Delighted to win a gold medal and speaking of his success at the Games, Rhys tweeted: “It is the only the beginning for me. I am 18 years-old. There is so much time for me to get more results and I see this as a new chapter in my Gymnastics career.”
Seven Silver Medals
Seven silver medals were won by Team NI. In Women’s Trap (shooting) a silver medal went to Kirsty Barr in her third Commonwealth Games. Barr finished the trap final on 37 points, one behind 2014 Games champion Laetisha Scanlan of Australia, as both survived four eliminations to reach the final round. In the Men’s Skeet (shooting) Gareth McAuley won a bronze.
It’s a Knock-Out
The remaining six silver medals were won by Team NI’s boxing squad: Carly McNaul, Brendan Irvine, Kurt Walker, Michaela Walsh, Aidan Walsh and Kristina O’Hara.
Four Bronze medals
Four bronze medals were won by Team NI. In boxing, James McGivern took bronze in the men’s 60kg and Steven Donnelly gained a bronze in the men’s 75kg. In the Men’s Skeet (shooting) Gareth McAuley won a bronze.
In Athletics, Leon Reid was outstanding in the men’s 200m, after a contested race he brought home a bronze. Leon became only the second ever Northern Ireland athlete to win a medal on the track.
Dempsey McGuigan was in the first top eight finish since 2002, when he claimed sixth overall in the Hammer Final. His performance set the scene for what was to come with Emma Mitchell setting a new Northern Ireland record in the 10,000m and further top eight places coming from Adam Kirk-Smith who was eighth in the 3000m steeplechase. Jack Agnew placed tenth overall in the T54 1500m and Sommer Lecky came tenth overall in the high jump.
Kate O’Connor shone at her first Commonwealth Games, finishing eighth in the Heptathlon and on the final day, in hot conditions, Kevin Seaward made a fine finish in fourth place in the Marathon under very hot conditions.
The Netball team also came eighth overall in a terrific win against Fiji. David Kerr made history as the first Northern Irish athlete to compete in a para-triathlon. David set a Personal Best placing sixth in the event. Sinead and Ciaran Chambers played well in the Badminton mixed doubles and Rachel Darragh and Sinead Chambers were only beaten in the last 16 in badminton women’s doubles. There were great moments in Table Tennis with Paul McCreery getting through to the last 16 in the Men’s Singles and again in the Men’s Doubles with Ashley Robinson.
Gary Kelly and Ian McClure took third place in Group Stage at Men’s Pairs and Sandra Bailie and Catherine Beattie also came third in the Group Stage in the Women’s pairs with Catherine placed third in Women’s Singles. In the Women’s Fours, along with Sandra Baliie were Sally McAuley, Donna McCloy, and Erin Smith who came fifth in the Group Stage.
Danielle Hill finished in eighth place in the 50m Freestyle, taking back her Irish senior record.
On the last day of the competition in the swimming pool, the men’s 4x100m medley relay team of Conor Ferguson, Jamie Graham, Jordan Sloan and David Thompson finished second in their heat and subsequently came sixth overall.
In a swim for lane draw para-swimmer Barry McClements was eighth in the S9 100m backstroke final with a new Personal Best.
Jamie Graham finished 14th in the 50m breaststroke with James Brown 16th in the 100m butterfly after also progressing from morning heats. Brown improved on his personal best in both his heat and semi-final.
Lydia Boylan was eighth overall in the Women’s Scratch Race and eleventh overall in the Women’s point race.
While her team mates Cameron Orr placed eighth overall in the Men’s Cross-Country in mountain bike cycling and Marc Potts came twelfth overall in the Men’s points race. Mark Downey was 4th overall in the men’s road race.
There was also a first win in wrestling since Ivan Weir’s bronze medal in 1978 courtesy of Sarah McDaid and a best ever result in weightlifting, a fourth place from Emma McQuaid.
Well done to all athletes and support staff at Team NI for showing great spirit at the 2018 Commonwealth Games!
More Information: Watch Sport NI Chairman George Lucas being interviewed by BBC Sport NI on Team NI’s success.