Team England won seventeen medals in athletics at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast – five gold, five silver, seven bronze – for third in the medal table, one place higher than in Glasgow 2014. But medals alone tell only part of the story. Here is a closer look at some of the numbers behind every English gong plundered Down Under.
FOUR – Years since Lorraine Ugen last ran in a 4x100m relay. Ugen, who is the British indoor record holder in the long jump, said she only practiced baton exchanges with the rest of the team – Asha Philip, Dina Asher-Smith and Bianca Williams – for the first time on the morning of the final.
“The girls gave me a really big lead so all I had to do was hold it,” Ugen added. “All I was thinking was ‘keep running, keep running!’”
Ugen anchored the team to gold in 42.46 – an English record and the fastest time in the world by any team this year.
FOUR – Different English sprinters lined up for the men’s 4x100m at the Commonwealth Games as did at the 2017 London World Championships (competing for Great Britain). The result was the same: gold.
Two of the line-up, Zharnel Hughes and Reuben Arthur, were at their first Commonwealth Games. Richard Kilty and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey returned after silver in 2014, and Aikines-Aryeetey waxed of the depth of sprinters across the country.
“Reuben got a late call out – to put together a team in the manner which we have done, with Adam [Gemili] out there supporting us, it’s great,” he said. “We’re all well-drilled, it’s all down to our flat speed, so when we’re in shape, we do it.”
FORTY-ONE – Days Katarina Johnson-Thompson had to prepare between winning World Indoor Championships gold in the pentathlon and lining up for the heptathlon in Gold Coast. A stress fracture had wrecked her chances of competing in 2014. Gold this time was what she came for – and was what she won.
“I’m so proud of myself for coming here in April and setting seasons best so early,” said the Liverpool Harrier. “I haven’t had chance to do a lot of training between world indoors so I’m happy to be competitive and winning the title here.”
TWO – Hundredths of a second that Sophie Hahn was short of her own T38 100m world record by. The 21-year clocked 12.46 (+0.9) to collect gold, completing her set of titles at Paralympic, world and European levels.
“It’s quite early in the season for us so my training had to change a little and I had to introduce speed work earlier, so to run that time this early on, I can’t ask for more really,” said Hahn, who now turns her focus into the cycle building to Tokyo 2020.
ZERO – English athletes to have thrown beyond 80-metres in the hammer before Nick Miller in Gold Coast. Miller, who won silver four years ago, came into the Games as the world leader. In the Cararra Stadium, he wrote a piece of British athletics history by going out to 80.26m for gold.
“To be honest, I thought I could throw 80m; it is the distance every hammer thrower wants to make,” said Miller. “The best part is that I beat my coach [Tore Gustafsson]. We joked for years that I’d throw over his best [80.14m] and when 80.26m came up, it was one up on him.”
THREE – Number of occasions that Morgan Lake’s 1.93m clearance would have been enough for Commonwealth gold coming in to Gold Coast. Lake becomes England’s sixth silver medallist in the event’s 84-year history at the Friendlies.
ZERO – Athletes with a faster reaction time than James Arnott in the T47 100m (0.148 seconds). Arnott clocked 11.30 to claim silver in his first Commonwealth Games.
“I got out really nicely and was really happy with my transition into the run,” he said. “I could feel the guy on my left come through and I was a bit like, ‘Woah!’”
THIRTEEN-POINT-TWO-SIX – Seconds it took Kyle Langford to cover the final 100m of his 800m.
No other athlete covered the home straight quicker, and it propelled the 22-year-old from sixth place on the curve to second on the line, winning a memorable silver in a PB 1:45.16.
SIX – Seconds faster that Tom Bosworth walked in his final 2km than he did for the next fastest 2km section during any other stage of his 20km race walk final. Co-captain Bosworth crossed the line second to take silver in a national record 1:19.38.
“It is a national record but to get under 1:20 is just something else I have been targeting for a long time,” said Bosworth. I was testing the guys all the way around and they were testing me. We knew we would have to move over the last few kilometres.”
THREE – Years since John Smith took up marathon racing. Smith, who won the IPC seated javelin title in 2014, switched after his chosen throwing events were removed from the Rio Paralympic programme. In Gold Coast he won T54 marathon silver in 1:31.44.
ONE – Number of times Laura Weightman had raced on the track over 5,000m before her Commonwealth final. She finished in 15:25.84 to claim bronze.
“I’m asking myself the question of why I chose the 5000m instead of the 1500m with the pain I’m in now. I like a challenge I suppose,” said Weightman. “When I went past the Ugandan athlete at 200m to go and she didn’t respond, I knew I’d got it. That last 100m I thought, ‘ I can’t believe I’m about to do this’.”
THREE – Years separating Niamh Emerson’s high jump gold at the Commonwealth Youth Games with her heptathlon bronze in Gold Coast. The latter was secured with a PB 6043 points.
TWENTY-NINE – Degrees Celsius in Gold Coast on the day of the marathon races. Simon Lawson, who secured bronze in the T54 marathon, described the conditions with typical British understatement: “It is a lot warmer than England, that’s for sure.”
SIX – Months in 2017 that Dina Asher-Smith missed through an injury that delayed the start of her outdoor campaign until July. In Gold Coast, she came away with 200m bronze in 22.29.
She said: “I’m really happy to run a 22.2 in April, that’s insane for me. Usually I’m still jogging around in trainers at this point!”
THREE – Years since Shara Proctor posted a mark to compare with the 6.89m she registered in long jump qualifying. Though Proctor couldn’t reproduce the same form in the final, the British outdoor record holder was able to clinch bronze with 6.75m.
NINE – Years separating the birth of English pole vault duo Luke Cutts and Adam Hague, the Sheffield and Dearne AC pair who both train under coach Trevor Fox. In gold Coast, where both cleared 5.45m, Cutts prevailed over Hague courtesy of a first time clearance at the decisive height.
TWO – Medals won by Jade Jones-Hall at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. After clinching the para-triathlon title at the start of the Games, the 22-year-old returned for the T54 marathon where she snared a remarkable bronze in 1:44.20.
“To come away with the gold in that and then the bronze here is just amazing,” she said. “It was easily the best marathon I've ever done in my life. I think it was actually a personal best as well, so I'm really happy with it.”
Click here for in-depth reports from every athletics session from the 2018 Commonwealth Games Gold Coast.