LOVE them or hate them, it’s undeniable that major multi-sports events are unlike anything else in the sporting calendar. 

That you can switch from watching athletics to wrestling to table tennis within minutes of each other gives the Commonwealth Games a magic that’s unique to multi-sport events. 

There’s still a couple of days to go until Birmingham 2022 concludes but already, there’s been a plethora of ups and downs squeezed into just over a week of sporting action. 

Here’s a run-down of the winners and losers – so far – of Birmingham 2022. 


Ross Murdoch 

Even those with a heart of stone could not fail to be moved by Ross Murdoch’s incredible medal-winning swims over the past week. 

Murdoch famously burst onto the scene eight years ago when he won gold at Glasgow 2014 but in recent years, he has not had his troubles to seek. 

A loss of form saw him fall out of the GB team, lose his funding and at one point, he seriously considered whether he even wanted to swim anymore. 

But in a remarkable return to form, Murdoch won three bronze medals at Birmingham 2022 and gave one of the most moving interviews of the Games in which he talked about his absence of motivation plus the mental health challenges he overcame. 

Duncan Scott may have been more successful in terms of silverware at these Games but it’s hard to dispute Murdoch has been one of the stories of the Games. 

Eilish McColgan 

Eilish McColgan is one of the longest serving members of Team Scotland’s track and field team but the recent success of this country’s middle-distance runners means she has been somewhat overshadowed in the past few years. 

She had been in incredible form over the past year, breaking numerous national records but a medal of any colour, never mind gold, was far from guaranteed in the 10,000m final in Birmingham due to the strength of the field. 

However, McColgan’s sprint to the line in the final 200m, leaving Kenya’s Irene Cheptai in her wake, saw her emulate her mum’s gold medals from 1986 and 1990. 

McColgan’s and her mum’s pure delight at the 31-year-old’s win was a joy to behold. 

The Commonwealth Games  

There is considerable apathy around the Commonwealth Games at the moment; there is concern about the cost of hosting the event, the dwindling public interest, the lack of a lasting legacy and, in recent years, the choice of many of the world’s top athletes to skip the Games has devalued the event significantly. 

However, Birmingham has put on as good a show as any host city in recent memory and that, coupled with the fact some of the world’s true superstars like Elaine Thompson-Herah, Adam Peaty and Ariarne Titmus have been in action over the past week suggest the Commonwealth Games have some life left in them yet. 

Emma McKeon 

Australian Swimmer Emma McKeon’s medal haul in Birmingham of seven medals, five of which were gold, now makes her the most decorated Commonwealth Games athlete of all-time, overtaking her compatriot Susie O’Neill. McKeon’s tally now stands at 20 medals, 14 of which are gold meaning she also now has more Commonwealth gold medals than one of the all-time greats in the pool Ian Thorpe. It was a delight to watch her in Birmingham. 


Scotland’s basketball teams 

For every medal winner at the Commonwealth Games, there are dozens of athletes who return home empty-handed. Of all those who finish outside the top three, there is no worse spot in which to come than fourth. 

For Scotland’s trio of 3x3 basketball teams at Birmingham 2022, two of them – the men and the women’s wheelchair squad – finished in fourth place meaning they had to cope with the disappointment of being within touching distance of silverware but failing to convert it into a spot on the podium. 

For both teams, their performances, and progress to the semi-finals, was an absolute credit to Team Scotland but it’ll take a while to get over being so close to silverware before falling at the final hurdle. 


At Gold Coast in 2018, there were no positive doping cases recorded but it only took one day of competition for Birmingham 2022 to surpass that total. 

Ghanaian boxer Shakul Samed was expelled from the Commonwealth Games after failing a drugs test; his sample came back positive for furosemide - a banned masking agent and diuretic - and he was thrown out of the competition. 

It was further proof that doping remains an issue in elite sport. 


Injuries are an all too common part of elite sport but a particularly shocking incident happened during these Games, when English track cyclist Matt Walls was involved in a crash that saw him catapulted over the barrier of the track and into the crowd. 

Luckily – and astonishingly - everyone escaped without serious injury but it was a timely reminder of just how dangerous sport at the very highest level can be at times. 

The Athletes’ Village 

One of the highlights for most athletes at a multi-sport event is living in the Athletes’ Village for the duration of the Games. 

The Village is temporary and houses athletes from every sport and competing nation and has everything anyone could possibly think of from a food hall to a dentist to a games arcade. 

However, in an attempt to keep costs down, Birmingham did away with the Athletes’ Village, instead spreading athletes around the city in already build accommodation like hotels and student halls. 

Their method seems to have been a success so we may have seen the end of the traditional Athletes’ Village for good.