The 19th Commonwealth Games in 2010 were held in New Delhi, India, but they belonged to Australia. For gymnastics, anyway.
The WAG team from Oz – comprised of Georgia Bonora, Ashleigh Brennan, Emily Little, Lauren Mitchell, and Georgia Wheeler – walked away with team gold, a sweep of the all-around medals (including a gold for superstar Mitchell, who earned a 58.2), and medals in every event spot for which they qualified, including gold and silver on bars, gold on beam, and silver and bronze on floor. Everyone but Wheeler, who competed only on bars in qualifications, made finals and took home individual prizes; though Wheeler earned a 13.6 on bars and qualified in fourth, the two-per-country rule for event finals left both her Little, who qualified in third with a 13.7, out.
It wasn’t exactly a fair fight, however. With the exception of Imogen Cairns, who competed at both Commonwealths and World Championships two weeks later, England sent a B-team, preferring to use their top athletes for the Great Britain team competing in Rotterdam; Canada opted to do the same, putting Emma Willis to work in both but sending the rest of their top dogs to the Netherlands while a weaker team (all of whom have since competed NCAA, including three at Canada-friendly UIC) was handed the New Delhi assignment. The full Australian team, meanwhile, went directly from one competition to the next, using the A-squad for both meets and allowing for an easy victory against the weaker Commonwealths fields.
In addition to the Aussies’ medal haul, Cairns took home the gold medals on vault and floor, Canada’s Gabby May took home a bronze on vault while Cynthia Lemieux-Guillemette grabbed bronze on bars and beam, South Africa’s Jennifer Khwela won silver on vault, and Singapore’s Heem Wei Lim went silver on beam.
We’ve compiled the videos from all event final routines so you can get excited for the competition to come next week.
This was such a nail-biter. All three medalists were within less than a tenth – about 0.063, to be exact – from one another, making this one of the tightest medal races I’ve ever seen. I was definitely rooting for Khwela and thought she was cleaner overall between the two vaults, but it really was so close between her and Cairns, it could have fairly gone either way.
1. Imogen Cairns (England) – 13.775
2. Jennifer Khwela (South Africa) – 13.737
3. Gabby May (Canada) – 13.712
Lauren Mitchell, bars champion? Anything’s possible at the Commonwealth Games! Though this routine isn’t a bad one for her, some minor problems aside. I still DROOL over Bonora’s immediate Comaneci, and I find it funny that all three medalists dismounted with double fronts!
1. Lauren Mitchell (Australia) – 14.15
2. Georgia Bonora (Australia) – 13.925
3. Cynthia Lemieux-Guillemette (Canada) – 13.35
She may not be a bars girl, but Lauren Mitchell was a dream on beam most of the time. Her all-around beam routine was UNTOUCHABLE at this meet…though her event finals routine wasn’t as solid, she still had nearly a point and a half over the competition. Also, though the silver and bronze medalists technically tied, Heem Wei Lim‘s execution was much cleaner, giving her the tie-breaker.
1. Lauren Mitchell (Australia) – 14.475
2. Heem Wei Lim (Singapore) – 12.825
3. Cynthia Lemieux-Guillemette (Canada) – 12.825
This was definitely one of the routines that made me love Imogen Cairns, even though I initially preferred Lauren Mitchell on floor and was hoping she’d win a third event gold. Cairns’ leaps are a bit suspect, but her tumbling is big and yet looks effortless. The two shared the same opening pass – a double arabian to stag jump – and though Cairns was stronger here, I give the win to Mitchell because I don’t think anyone else could have teetered on the edge like that without going out of bounds! She has quite a few good saves here, actually, and I think these are some of her better leaps. As for Ashleigh Brennan, she didn’t have much of a chance against the other two, but I like that she was able to get everything under control by the last two passes.
1. Imogen Cairns (England) – 14.2
2. Lauren Mitchell (Australia) – 13.925
3. Ashleigh Brennan (Australia) – 13.425
Article by Lauren Hopkins