England were soundly beaten by Australia, Scotland and Wales had their best overseas results, and Northern Ireland matched their medal total of four years ago – but what is the reality behind the Commonwealth Games numbers?
Including the Isle of Man’s sole silver, the home nations won 229 medals between them. However, hosts Australia accumulated 198, just 31 fewer, all by themselves on the Gold Coast.
2018 medal table
2014 medal table
England leave Australia with a haul of 136 medals but it was a mixed Games for some well-known faces.
According to data analysts Gracenote Sports, Gold Coast 2018 was England’s second-worst performance in the 21 editions of the Commonwealths. They won 16.2% of the medals available, only delivering a lower percentage at Melbourne 2006 (15%) – which was also staged in the northern hemisphere spring.
“These championships come very early in the season for athletics,” American eight-time world champion Michael Johnson told BBC Sport.
“Most athletes aren’t used to running multiple rounds in April.”
Sprinter Adam Gemili, who withdrew from the men’s 100m final with injury, said: “We all knew it was going to be in April and had plenty of time to prepare for that. It shouldn’t be an excuse.”
What do the stats say?: 16.2% of all medals won at the Games were by England, down from the 21% share of medals they claimed at Glasgow 2014.
Winners: Diver Jack Laugher and gymnast Nile Wilson both leave with three golds, while there was a stunning gold for the netball team on the final day. On the athletics track, England’s sprint relay teams won double gold.
Disappointments: Double Olympic champion Max Whitlock was tipped to be one of the stars on the Gold Coast, but had to settle for silver on the pommel horse and missed out on a medal on the floor. Swimmer Adam Peaty was beaten in the 50m breaststroke final and Alastair and Jonny Brownlee finished off the podium in the men’s triathlon.
What they said
BBC commentator and 1983 world 1500m champion Steve Cram
“As a direct historical comparison, without the Para-sport events that have been added at recent Games, it is the worst Commonwealth Games performance of any England team in track and field.
“You have to take note of that.”
Sarah Winckless, chef de mission for England, on the criticism the team has faced
“There’s never a nailed-on gold in sport. Commonwealth medals are incredibly hard to get.
“I think ‘woeful’ would be very, very unkind – and, in fact, unnecessary – for the amazing performances that we have had. For us, we’ve got really close to our best ever away performance – we didn’t quite achieve it.”
“You sometimes feel embarrassed about over-egging the pride of wearing the Scotland jersey, but this meant so much.”
That was cyclist Katie Archibald’s reaction when she claimed individual pursuit gold in what would prove to be Scotland’s most successful away Commonwealth Games.
They won 44 medals on the Gold Coast – 14 more than the team’s pre-Games target and only nine fewer than four years ago at home in Glasgow.
What do the stats say?: Outside the Commonwealth Games, which Scotland have hosted, Gold Coast 2018 was the country’s best since 1982 in terms of the 5.2% share of medals won, according to Gracenote.
Winners: Duncan Scott, Scotland’s closing ceremony flagbearer, won six swimming medals, including a stunning 100m freestyle gold, while Grace Reid became the first Scottish diver to win Commonwealth gold. Alex Marshall is now the country’s most successful Commonwealth competitor after a fifth gold. Para-cyclist Neil Fachie and pilot Matt Rotherham won double gold at the velodrome.
Disappointments: Lynsey Sharp failed to qualify from the 800m heats despite winning silver four years ago in Glasgow.
What they said
Scotland chef de mission Jon Doig
“When you look at these Games, the fact we’ve had medals across so many sports and medals coming in every day has been absolutely fantastic.
“It’s our best ever overseas games, we’re very, very happy. We can’t affect what other people do. All I can say is every athlete was fully committed, passionate and left nothing on the table when they were competing for Scotland.”
Welsh youth shines
Wales enjoyed a successful Commonwealth Games, equalling their record total from Glasgow with 36 medals and doubling their tally of five golds from four years ago.
There were five medals in the shooting, while Gareth Evans won gold in the men’s -69kg weightlifting and teenage gymnast Latalia Bevan was a surprise silver medallist on the floor.
And while she did not win a medal, 11-year-old Anna Hursey more than impressed in the table tennis, helping Wales to the quarter-finals of the team event.
What do the stats say?: Gold Coast 2018 was the best Commonwealth Games for Wales with a 4.1% share of medals, beating Edinburgh 1986 and Auckland 1990 (both 4.0%).
Winners: Cyclist Elinor Barker produced a stunning performance to win points race gold, Hollie Arnold set a world record with her final throw to claim the F46 javelin title and Sammy Lee and Lauren Price won boxing golds.
Disappointments: Former world 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene was forced to withdraw because of injury, while swimmer Jazz Carlin failed to defend her 800m freestyle title from Glasgow, finishing sixth in the final.
What they said
Wales chef de mission Nicola Phillips
“The future looks very bright when you look at the number of teenagers we had in the squad. Those teenagers were fearless.
“They weren’t put off by being in a field of world champions or world record holders.”
Northern Ireland equal Glasgow haul
Northern Ireland matched their total of 12 medals from Glasgow four years ago with the sole gold coming from 18-year-old gymnast Rhys McClenaghan, who beat Olympic champion Whitlock to win the pommel title – his nation’s first Commonwealth medal in artistic gymnastics.
Eight of the medals came in the boxing ring, while sprinter Leon Reid won 200m bronze and Kirsty Barr and Gareth McAuley won trap silver and skeet bronze respectively on the shooting range.
What do the stats say?: Northern Ireland’s performance at the 2018 Commonwealth Games was slightly down on 2010 and 2014, but 2018 was one of the country’s top three performances in the competition since 1994.
Winners: McClenaghan’s gymnastics gold was the defining moment of the Games for Northern Ireland.
Disappointments: Despite winning eight medals, Northern Ireland’s boxers may well feel there should have been some golds among them. Michaela Walsh thought she had beaten Skye Nicolson in the featherweight final, but three of the five judges scored the bout in favour of the Australian.
What they said
Gymnast Rhys McClenaghan
“There is a lot more to come from Northern Ireland and after these Games, I think we’ll have a big spike in terms of participation and also performance level of athletes.”