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The best moments of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games

Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad and Tobago celebrates as she wins gold ahead of Christania Williams of Jamaica and Asha Philip of England. Photo: Getty.

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For the first time in the history of a major multi-sport Games, there was an equal number of medal events for men and women across all sports, while GC2018 had the largest integrated sports program in Commonwealth Games history, comprising 18 sports and seven para sports.

There were 29 countries who claimed gold, with medals shared between 43 countries, beating the previous best of 39 which was set at Manchester 2002 and equalled at Melbourne 2006.

Five countries won their first Commonwealth Games medals at the Gold Coast, while South Africa's Chad LE Clos became the first male swimmer to win the same event (the 200m butterfly) at three consecutive Commonwealth Games and came close to equalling the all-time record of 18 Commonwealth Games medals, with his haul at GC2018 bringing his total to 17.

Here are some of the best moments of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Duffy claims the first medal of the Games
Women’s Triathlon favourite Flora Duffy lived up to her pre-race billing to claim the first gold medal of GC2018.

The world No.1 dominated the field to also claim Bermuda’s first ever women’s gold medal.

"I came in the favourite so that adds its own pressure. For me it was personal, I wanted to do well," Duffy said.

"It's gonna take a while to soak in - it's a very cool feeling."

Record breakers
Australia broke its own world record in winning the women's 4x100m freestyle relay to cap a memorable first day of competition.

The Australian quartet was never in doubt for the gold medal, with lead-off swimmer Shayna Jack and Bronte Campbell, swimming the second leg, establishing a one body-length lead over the rest of the field. Emma McKeon managed to extend that lead to two body-lengths before handing over to former 100m freestyle world record holder Cate Campbell.

Fittest woman on earth claims gold
She’s the fittest woman on earth and now Australia’s Tia-Clair Toomey is a Commonwealth Games champion after a dramatic victory in the women’s 58kg weightlifting category.

Toomey claimed gold with the last lift of the competition, a 114kg clean and jerk that gave her the gold medal by just 1kg over second placed Canadian Tali Darsigny.

“This gold medal means more than just a gold medal. My family, my team, my husband, we’ve trained so hard for this, it is a dream come true,” Toomey said.

“I didn’t know exactly how much was on the bar, before the crowd was so electric, I was really in the zone and to be able to do it in front of the home crowd was beyond words, it was simply incredible.”

Read more about Toomey's win | Read our feature with Tia-Clair Toomey

Cycling records tumble at Velodrome
The only record not broken at the Anna Meares velodrome during GC2018 was the record set by Anna Meares herself in the 500m time trial at the Glasgow 2014 games.

Commonwealth Games records were set or broken in every other track cycling competition.

Australia topped the medal tally, but Scotland also left the Anna Meares Velodrome happy after doubling their medal haul from Glasgow 2014.

The hosts secured 19 medals (10 gold, three silver, and six bronze) to the delight of daily sell-out crowds at the new venue, whil Scotland were the next most successful with 10 medals (four gold, four silver, and two bronze).

Future steps up to the table
Wales’ Anna Hursey was the youngest competitor at GC2018 at 11 years of age. But she showed age is just a number competing at the table tennis competition.

She was certainly not overawed by the occasion, claiming a number of victories.

Para triathlon - Jones transition goes swimmingly
Para triathlete Jade Jones couldn’t swim 18 months ago, but that didn’t stop the Englishwoman becoming the first women’s Para Triathlon champion in Commonwealth Games history.

Jones competed at the London and Rio Paralympics and Glasgow Games as a wheelchair racer, but decided to take up para triathlon after watching the inaugural Olympic event in Rio.

There was one challenge - the swim.

“I couldn’t swim come November 2016 and that’s when I started to learn,” Jones told GC2018.com.

Jones backed up her gold by winning bronze in the women's T54 marathon.

Malawi conquer New Zealand in Netball
Malawi registered the nation's first ever win against New Zealand sparking wild celebrations after the upset 57-53 result.

The Malawi Queens' victory was their first success against two-time Commonwealth champion New Zealand in 10 attempts.

Trailing by seven goals at halftime, Malawi set up their famous victory with a 17-9 third quarter.

"We have beaten the untouchables," said coach Whyte Mulilima.

Jamaica were beaten on the buzzer by England in a dramatic semifinal, but proved too strong for New Zealand to claim the bronze medal.

Engaging court appearance
England's men's and women's basketball teams both celebrated on-court wins, but two players had even more reason to break out the champagne with Jamell Anderson dropping to one knee after the team defeated Cameroon 81-54.

"I had absolutely no idea," Jones said. "He told me I was just getting a picture taken."

England's basketball players celebrate their engagement.

Champions crowned, history made at Carrara Stadium
Michelle-Lee Ahye became the first woman from Trinidad and Tobago to win 100m Commonwealth Games gold and the nation's first gold medallist since Ato Bolden won the men's 100m race in 1998.

In the men's 100m final, Akani Simbine won gold in a time of 10:03 seconds. It marks the first time in 20 years that an athlete from a Caribbean country has not held the title of the Commonwealth's fastest man.

Cook Islands bowl into the record books
The Cook Islands won its first medal in Commonwealth Games history when Aidan Zittersteijn and Taiki Paniani won bronze in the Lawn Bowls men’s pairs competition.

All it took, according to Zittersteijn, was a little mojo. “We started off good then we really got our rhythm – we call it mojo – and we were set. We played well,” he said.

Comeback queen Joelle King wins Squash gold
New Zealand’s Joelle King won New Zealand’s first individual Squash gold medal. After beating eight-time world champion Nicol David to earn a place in the gold medal match, she defeated England’s Sarah-Jane Perry 3-2 to secure the title.

Throws of a champion
Australian Kathryn Mitchell broke the Commonwealth Games and Australian record on her first javelin throw and then promptly broke down when she realised she had won the gold medal.

Her throw of 68.92m was the longest throw in the world for five years.

The 35-year-old started her career at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, but this was her first medal after finishing sixth in Melbourne, fifth at the Delhi 2010 Games and fourth at Glasgow 2014.

Botswana reign supreme
Botswana toasted the 400m double as Amantle Montsho and Isaac Makwala both dominated the field.

Just 24 four hours after her compatriot Isaac Makwala cruised to victory in the men’s 400m, Montsho, the 2011 world champion, produced her quickest time for five years to register 50.15 and prove she is back to her best.

It was the first time in Commonwealth Games history the 400m men's and women's events have been won by athletes from the same country.

The men then made it a meet to remember by winning the 4x400m relay.

Manyonga leaps for South Africa
World champion Luvo Manyonga from South Africa repelled the fierce challenge of Australia’s Henry Frayne to take the country’s first Commonwealth Games long jump gold since 1950.

Manyonga, the former crystal meth addict who last year produced the longest jump in the world for eight years, dislodged Frayne from top spot in round four with 8.35m.

The gold medallist then soared out to his longest leap of the competition in round six with a Games record 8.41m.

Australia and Canada claim Beach Volleyball history
Coolangatta Beach was a cauldron when Australia won the first ever Commonwealth Games men's Beach Volleyball medal in front of a home crowd.

It wasn’t without a fight - Australians Chris McHugh and Damien Schumann overcame a 12-9 deficit in the third set to defeat Canada's Samuel Pedlow and Sam Schachter in the gold medal match.

McHugh and Schumann had not dropped a set in the tournament coming into the final, and emerged victorious in a back-and-forth thriller in front of an electric crowd.

In the women's final, Canada's Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan overcame their toughest test to win beach volleyball gold over Australia.

Canada’s buzzer beater
Mamadou Gueye's three-pointer at the buzzer sent Canada into the gold medal game with an upset 88-86 win over New Zealand.

Canada led by as many as 20 points late in the third quarter, but New Zealand fought back in the fourth to take a one-point lead with 5.1 seconds remaining.

On the last play, Canada tried to get the ball in the hands of top scorer Ammanuel Diressa, but New Zealand defended the play well and denied him the ball.

That left Gueye to throw up a three-point prayer that banked in off the backboard as time expired sparking wild celebrations.

Canada celebrate their semifinal win.

An emotional victory for the British Virgin Islands
Kyron McMaster won the British Virgin Islands first gold medal in an emotional 400m hurdles race, inspired by an unimaginable tragedy and the desire to inspire a nation in need.

Last year the British Virgin Islands were ravaged by Hurricane Irma, which claimed the life of McMaster's coach and mentor, Xavier Samuels. "I still think and talk about him every day," McMaster said.

"I even got a tattoo (on my inner arm) made of his favourite phrase, which was 'guidance'. Every day I look at it and it acts as motivation."

Dramatic lift seals PNG gold
Defending champion Steven Kari smashed a 17-year-old Commonwealth record in the clean and jerk to win gold in the men's 94kg weightlifting.

The Papua New Guinean lifted 216kg, beating the previous best mark of 210kg, and after lifting the weight, Kari celebrated by running around the stage, hurling his lifting belt into the crown, and carrying his coach up onto the stage.

"I didn't come here to win silver or bronze," Kari said after the competition. "I came here for gold. I had a one track mind."

Oldest gold medal winner
Ken Hanson has become Australia’s oldest ever gold medal winner at a Commonwealth Games after making his debut at the spritely age of 68.

Hanson won gold for his B6/B7/B8 Triples dramatically with the last bowl of the match.

Caster claims historic double
South Africa’s Caster Semenya smashed the 800m Games record to become only the third woman in Commonwealth Games history to complete the 800 and 1500m double.

The world and Olympic 800m champion controlled the race - and never looked troubled - passing 400m in 58.66 before accelerating clear of the field in the final 200m to lower the Games record to 1:56.68.

Fearnley claims emotional marathon gold
Australia’s Kurt Fearnley signed off an outstanding career for Australia with a comprehensive victory in the men's T54 marathon.

The two-time Paralympic marathon champion relentlessly forged ahead breaking the Commonwealth Games record time on his way to 1:30:26. It was his second medal of GC2018 following silver in the T54 men's 1500m.

"Everybody deserves nothing, if you want it, you have to work for it,” Fearnley said.

"You've got to turn out, come out and fight for it. I'll fight harder than any of my opposition when it's one of these days."

New world order of netball
England defeated Australia in the last second of a pulsating and historic netball final 52-51.

Goal attack Helen Housby hit the match-winning goal in the last second after the Roses had trailed by as much as four goals early in the final quarter.

It sparked wild scenes as England celebrated their first netball gold medal.

Rugby Sevens delivers thriller
Kelly Brazier was New Zealand’s hero as she scored a golden point extra-time try to beat Australia 17-12 and claim the first Commonwealth Games women’s rugby sevens gold in a thrilling encounter on Sunday.

With the scores at Robina Stadium locked at 12-12 and the first period of extra-time about to end, Brazier, stepped and jinked her way through the Australian defence from the New Zealand 15m line before outpacing the covering defence.

"It's so surreal, I can't believe I just won the gold medal," New Zealand captain Sarah Goss said. "I'm so proud of all the girls, it's been an amazing run over the last eight weeks.

"To bring it home in an atmosphere like that was incredible, the support we've had from all the fans, really boosted us."

The men's team made it a golden double when they defeated Fiji 14-0.

India shoots for gold
India was the leading shooting nation with rising star 15-year-old Anish becoming the youngest Indian to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal, blitzing the men's 50m rapid fire event.

India finished with seven gold, four silver and five bronze medals to top the leaderboard ahead of Australia, who struck gold three times, and also took four silvers and one bronze. England was third, collecting two golds, one silver and four bronze.

England rule the ring
England ruled the ring at the boxing program at Oxenford Studios, winning six gold medals on the final day.

Sixteen gold medals were on offer and England won six of the seven finals they contested, including all four in the final session.

Host nation Australia finished with three gold medals, along with India, while there was disappointment for Northern Ireland, who failed to win a gold despite contesting six finals.

Badminton legend bows out
Lee Chong Wei recovered from a set down to defeat World No.1 Srikanth Kidambi 2-1 in the men's singles final, taking gold in his Commonwealth Games swansong.

Lee's 19-21, 21-14, 21-14 victory came in stark contrast to the straight-sets defeat he suffered against Kidambi in the badminton mixed team event final, a memorable end to a tense GC2018 rivalry.

"Mentally I was very, very strong," Lee said. "This is one of my most memorable achievements, because this will be my last Commonwealth Games. I know how important this gold medal is for Malaysia."

India’s No.2 seed Saina Nehwal defeated her compatriot and women's singles favourite Venkata Pusarla 21-18, 23-21 to secure a second career Commonwealth Games gold outside the team event.

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