The 2022 Commonwealth Games are now upon us, with more than 5,000 athletes competing across almost 300 events.
Following the opening ceremony at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium on Thursday 28 July – almost exactly 10 years since the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony – the Games will last 11 days as England hosts for the third time in its history.
Despite its scope, not all countries can enter the Commonwealth Games – here are all the nations taking part in Birmingham 2022 and all the sports they will be competing in.
Which countries are competing at Birmingham 2022?
There are a total of 72 countries in the Commonwealth Games Association, and all of them confirmed that they would be sending athletes to Birmingham 2022.
Joining the leading lights of England, Australia and Canada will be lesser-known federations such as Norfolk Island, which will be represented in the second city by 14 lawn bowlers.
Saint Helena is sending a 14-strong team comprising athletes, swimmers and a badminton player while Niue has 15 athletes competing in boxing, bowls and weightlifting – here is the full list of countries taking part:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Cook Islands
- England (Host)
- Falkland Islands
- Isle of Man
- new zealand
- norfolk island
- Northern Ireland
- Papua New Guinea
- Saint Helena
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- saint lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
- south africa
- Sri Lanka
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos Islands
Which sports are included in the Commonwealth Games?
While it lacks the overall scope of the Olympics, there is a total of 1,875 medals to be won in 280 events across 19 different sports at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
New events for Birmingham include women’s T20 cricket, three-a-side basketball and mixed synchronized swimming:
- beach volleyball
- T20 cricket
- lawn bowls
- rugby sevens
- table tennis
What is the Commonwealth?
The Commonwealth refers to the political association of 56 sovereign nations, many of which were former territories of the British Empire.
At its peak, Britain ruled almost a quarter of the global population, so these associations extend to almost ever corner of the planet.
The Commonwealth has its origins in the first half of the 20th century, when an increasing number of states declared their independence from the Empire.
Britain hoped that a continued alliance would help it retain global power in the post-war era, and in 1959 Queen Elizabeth II described Canada as the “first independent country within the British Empire”.
Under the Balfour Declaration, member states are “equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by common allegiance to the Crown, and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations.” ”.
While some countries, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand, retain the Queen as head of state, others have become republics. Barbados removed the Queen last year and experts believe it is “inevitable” others will follow.
The Commonwealth Games started as the British Empire Games in 1930, becoming the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in 1954 and British Commonwealth Games from 1970 to 1974, before adopting its current name.
What’s the full schedule for the 2022 Commonwealth Games?
- Friday 29 July: England’s Georgia Taylor-Brown battles Bermudan Flora Duffy in the triathlon. We also while we get our first sight of women’s T20 cricket and 3×3 basketball, while at London’s velodrome Laura Kenny leads England in team pursuit.
- Saturday 30 July: Early-morning marathons are followed by Tom Dean and Duncan Scott’s 200m duel in the pool, and the Roses continuing their netball title defense against Malawi.
- Sunday 31 July: Adam Peaty will attempt to defy injury and retain his 100m breaststroke title, while Fiji have get a chance to finally win their first Commonwealth gold in rugby sevens.
- Monday 1 August: The first lawn bowls final, men’s triples, could feature “Wonder Bowler” Nick Brett, while judo makes its return to Commonwealth Games action. Dame Laura will get her third shot at a medal in the scratch race, while there are several high-profile races in the pool.
- Tuesday 2 August: The athletics program starts today, while we see the last gymnastics finals and penultimate night of swimming.
- Wednesday 3 August: All eyes will be on the track for men’s and women’s 100m finals, though Dina Asher-Smith was lined up for a potential rematch with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce before she pulled out. We’ll also see the mountain bike and squash finals.
- Thursday 4 August: Para-powerlifters lift three times their body weight and the one-day competition will feature Paralympic medalists Micky Yule, Olivia Broome and Zoe Newson – we’ll also get to see Geraint Thomas in the cycling time trial.
- friday 5 august: We’re into the business end of the Games with hockey and table tennis semi-finals, netball classification matches and beach volleyball quarter-finals, while the wrestling competition begins.
- Saturday 6 August: A massive middle-distance day at the Alexander Stadium as newly crowned world champion Jake Wightman takes on all comers in the morning 1500m and Keely Hodgkinson tops the bill in the evening’s 800m.
- Sunday 7 August: The netball, cricket and hockey medals will all be decided within a matter of hours promise an unforgettable day of team sport. That’s before you even mention cycling’s road race, a bumper day of boxing finals and Laura Muir in the 1500m.
- Monday 8 August: The men’s hockey final will be the final event at the Games with badminton, diving, table tennis and squash scores all still to be settled before the curtain comes down with the closing ceremony.
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