The 2022 Commonwealth Games begin tomorrow in Birmingham, England, where some of the top athletes from countries that the English once violently stole are part of the Commonwealth of Nations will battle it out for all-around, team, and apparatus medals.
Below, you can find everything you’ll need to follow the competition over the next few days, including who’s competing and how you can watch.
Who To Watch?
All of the usual suspects are back in terms of the big teams for WAG, which typically includes England, Canada, Australia, and Wales, though I expect the order of things will shift a bit this year. With most of Canada’s top competitors having gone to Pan Ams and some of England’s part of the British team for Euros, neither is going to be full strength, while the 2018 bronze medalists from Australia have a top-tier squad that could put up quite a challenge.
There’s also Wales, which could be a little behind the top three, but still a realistic threat, especially if they can capitalize on some of their strongest routines, like Poppy Stickler‘s floor. Outside of these four, I don’t see any major team podium challengers, though Scotland – led by Shannon Archer, who was on par with many of the English gymnasts at nationals this year – could surprise, and I think this could be South Africa’s year to get close.
I think England actually did a pretty good job splitting its Commonwealth Games and Euros squads fairly evenly, with national all-around silver medalist Ondine Achampong in Birmingham this week along with the fourth- and fifth-place all-arounders, Georgia-Mae Fenton and Alice Kinsella. I can see them as frontrunners for both team and all-around gold, but 2020 Olympians Georgia Godwin and Emily Whitehead will present a challenge, and I’m also hoping Archer will throw her hat into the all-around podium ring, and Emma Spence should be Canada’s best shot for a medal there.
None of the smaller programs here will be major podium contenders, especially in the all-around fields, with the exception of 2020 Olympian and recent African all-around and bars champion Caitlin Rooskrantz. As for the others, I really enjoy 2020 Olympian Milka Gehani of Sri Lanka and Tara Donnelly of Isle of Man, who made a comeback last year after four years away, and Annalise Newman-Achee of Trinidad & Tobago is always fun to watch.
For MAG, the same top four teams will also be the ones to watch here, but England – led by 2020 Olympians Joe Fraser, James Hall, and Giarnni Regini-Moran – is going to be very hard to beat. The Canadian guys looked great at Pan Ams, so with the same team here, I’m excited to see them again with another podium in their reach, while Australia also has a good mix of top all-arounders and excellent specialists, and Wales now has Brinn Bevan at the helm, and Scotland’s guys are pretty excellent as well, with Cameron Lynn, David Weir, and Pavel Karnejenko coming in as all-around talents along with Frank Baines – who came out of retirement for this meet – and Hamish Carter rounding them out.
From the smaller programs, Northern Ireland – which had to fight the FIG for the approval to send Irish gymnasts to this competition – has Rhys McClenaghan aiming to defend his pommel horse title while Eamon Montgomery is one to watch on floor, New Zealand has a great team led by veteran Mikhail Koudinov who should be a top all-arounder in this group, Michael Reid of Jamaica will be hoping to make waves on pommels, and Cyprus has Marios Georgiou and Ilias Georgiou in the mix for potentially a number of medals, and they should also be able to help get the team to a pretty good place in the rankings.
A full list of all competitors is available by clicking on the rosters below.
|WAG Roster||MAG Roster|
When’s It Happening?
Here’s the complete schedule, along with a breakdown of who you can find in each subdivision. All times are local to Birmingham (GMT+1), which is five hours ahead of ET.
|FRIDAY JULY 29|
|9:00 am||MAG Team Final, AA/EF Qualifications Subdivision 1
Bangladesh, Cayman Islands, Jersey, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka
|MAG Team Final, AA/EF Qualifications Subdivision 2
India, Jamaica, Malaysia, Northern Ireland, Singapore, Wales
|5:00 pm||MAG Team Final, AA/EF Qualification Subdivision 3
Australia, Canada, Cyprus, England, New Zealand, Scotland
|SATURDAY JULY 30|
|9:00 am||WAG Team Final, AA/EF Qualifications Subdivision 1
Barbados, Cyprus, Jamaica, Singapore
|WAG Team Final, AA/EF Qualifications Subdivision 2
Isle of Man, South Africa, Trinidad & Tobago
|4:30 pm||WAG Team Final, AA/EF Qualifications Subdivision 3
India, Malaysia, Scotland, Sri Lanka
|WAG Team Final, AA/EF Qualifications Subdivision 4
Australia, Canada, England, Wales
|SUNDAY JULY 31|
|9:00 am||Men’s All-Around Final|
|2:30 pm||Women’s All-Around Final|
|MONDAY AUGUST 1|
|1:00 pm||Apparatus Finals – Day 1
WAG Vault, Uneven Bars
MAG Floor, Pommel Horse, Still Rings
|TUESDAY AUGUST 2|
|1:00 pm||Apparatus Finals – Day 2
WAG Balance Beam, Floor
MAG Vault, Parallel Bars, High Bar
How Can We Watch?
The Games will be streamed via BBC TV, the BBC iPlayer, and Red Button. There’s no direct link to specific streams yet, so this is something we’ll all have to figure out together as it happens, and if you’re outside of the BBC coverage area, you may need a VPN (I use Nord, which has a monthly cost, but it’s relatively inexpensive and provides great coverage).
CBC Sports is also streaming the event, and there seems to be a bit more organization there, with gymnastics listed as being on both channel two and channel four, though again, you may need a VPN if you’re outside of Canada.
I haven’t seen anything in the way of live scores, but the Birmingham 2022 website has a results page that looks promising.
Article by Lauren Hopkins