Main menu


Australia's golden game ends with the Kookaburra taking gold number 67. Commonwealth Games 2022

featured image

On the opening night of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, Eddie Ockenden had a big smile on his face as he marched into Alexander Stadium carrying the Australian flag. Ockenden, who has been active in Australian hockey for 16 years, was named with the honor. His prowess with the hockey stick and his humility off the pitch were shown again on Monday when the Kookaburra finished the game with a gold medal.

The decider that pitted the silver and bronze medalists against each other at last year’s Tokyo Olympics quickly turned into a mismatch, with Australia beating India 7-0 to win the gold medal. This was his seventh heaven for Australian hockey, and Kookaburra won all seven of his tournaments when the sport was played at the Commonwealth his Games. Australia has now won 41 of her 42 matches played at this level. In the final, the aggregate scoreline is 33-2. The route has become routine.

A four-time gold medalist alongside kookaburra great Mark Knowles, Ockenden now has four impressive campaigns. Olympic gold is the missing piece. He has won silver in Tokyo and bronze in Beijing and London. He’s 35, but he has ambitions for Paris in 2024.

“It was unbelievable,” Ockenden said. “I’ve been very lucky to have been able to play hockey for so long and to be able to accomplish what I’ve been doing.”

The Australian scored from 7 of 23 shots for the goal while limiting India to just 5 attempts. Indian keeper PR Three Jesh could argue well done given the barrage. Jacob Anderson and Nathan Ephraumz scored two goals each, Blake Govers, Tom Wickham and Flynn Ogilvie were also on the scoresheet.

Captain Alan Zarevski, co-captaining with Ockenden, praised the Tasmanian for still running around “like a chicken in the spring”. He is a very humble and wonderful person,” he said.

The Kookaburra took the tally to 1,001 on Monday after the Diamonds recorded the country’s 1,000th Commonwealth Games gold on Sunday night. Small events leading up to the closing ceremony His program won silver and bronze in diving and silver in table tennis.

In the women’s table tennis doubles final, Jian Huang Lei and Min Hyun Ji lost 3-0 to the Singapore duo. But for Ray, 49, to win silver again, her first in 20 years, after achieving the same feat on her debut for Australia in Manchester, is a celebration in itself. “I’m so proud of the effort. It’s incredible,” she said.

Australia ended the Commonwealth Games with 67 gold medals, 11 ahead of second-placed England. The Australian won her 178 medals overall, trailing the host nation by two behind her. With the exception of Glasgow in 2014, the Australian has led every Commonwealth game since her 1990.

Minhyung Jee (left) and Jian Fang Lay take on the Singaporean duo of Tianwei Feng and Jian Zeng. Photo: Darren England/AAP

Australia’s national chef, Petria Thomas, has contributed to nine gold medals in her outstanding swimming career, lauding the excellence of her team’s performance.

“It’s an honor to lead this team and see the Australian shine on and off the field,” she said. “The team has performed on the playing field and, in general, have been great ambassadors for Australia as they have done in their own way.”

Thomas admitted he had occasional scars, which raised eyebrows when cricketer Talia McGrath made it to the final despite testing positive for Covid-19 the morning of the match . It was within the rules of this competition.

Australia has enacted stricter rules than other countries when it comes to Covid precautions, but some of its nearly 700 athletes have pushed boundaries. And the number of players, including those wearing gold, has increased.

“We have certainly made it very clear to our team members what our expectations are regarding Covid protocols. she said. “Some people weren’t wearing masks at different times for different reasons. But overall we did a pretty good job.”

Joining Ockendon as a flag bearer, decorated diver Melissa Wu was given the honor of leading the winning team to Alexander Stadium to close out the game. In 2006 she became a silver medalist in Melbourne at the age of 13. Woo began her career in Birmingham when she won gold in the 10 m synchronized on her platform teaming with 14-year-old Charlie Petrov. She added another highlight.

The 30-year-old, who had planned to enjoy a few slices of pizza while watching the closing ceremony from the athletes’ village, was eager to accept the honor. I’m going to take it all in and enjoy it, it’s going to be a great moment,” she said.