Commonwealth Games 2022: key athletes and medal news for Team England, Team Wales, Team Scotland and Team Northern Ireland

·7-min read
Commonwealth Games 2022 Team England Adam Peaty laura kenny, Team Wales, Team Scotland and Team Northern Ireland - AFP
Commonwealth Games 2022 Team England Adam Peaty laura kenny, Team Wales, Team Scotland and Team Northern Ireland - AFP

The Commonwealth Games in Birmingham got under way last week with the opening ceremony at the revamped Alexander Stadium. With a total of 280 events over 20 sports being contested over the course of the event, Telegraph Sport takes a look at key athletes from the home nations.

Team England

Adam Peaty (Swimming)

All-time greatest in 100m breaststroke was expected to add another gold to his Commonwealth titles from 2014 and 2018 but in a huge shock in the pool he not only missed out on gold but also a medal. Having missed out on the recent World Championships due to a broken foot the Englishman struggled and came home in fourth, with his team-mate James Wilby winning the gold. Bounced back, however, to win the 50m breaststroke.

Birmingham medal results so far: Gold in men's 50m breaststroke.

Laura Kenny (Cycling)

Part of cycling's power couple (with husband Sir Jason), Kenny is looking to round out a relatively bare Commonwealth Games section of the family trophy cabinet: despite having five Olympic golds and a silver, she had only previously won one Commonwealth medal. That changed on day one with bronze in the women's team pursuit and gold in the scratch race on Monday.

Birmingham medal results so far: Women's team pursuit bronze, women's scratch race gold.

Grace Lister, Josie Knight, Laura Kenny and Maddie Leech team pursuit bronze - GETTY IMAGES
Grace Lister, Josie Knight, Laura Kenny and Maddie Leech team pursuit bronze - GETTY IMAGES

Jack Laugher (Diving)

Won Britain's first-ever Olympics diving gold in Rio 2016, and is already the owner of five Commonwealth golds. The Harrogate-born 27-year-old and his 3m synchro partner Anthony Harding took silver at July's World Championships and will be confident of going one better. Added another gold medal to his collection in the 1m springboard.

Birmingham medal results so far: 1m springboard gold

Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Athletics)

Much-loved Scouser KJT is the 2018 Commonwealth heptathlon champion but has had a desperate time with injuries, including a ruptured Achilles. She was not able to put up much of a defence of her 2019 world title at this year's event in Eugene but talent remains unquestionable – as she proved by retaining her title in Birmingham.

Birmingham medal results so far: Heptathlon gold

Gemma Howell (Judo)

Telford-born battler dropped down from 70kg to 63kg weight class and won her first major title recently at the Europeans. Has had 10 surgeries on various injuries but the 31-year-old fighter never gives in and is seeking her first Commonwealth medal.

Birmingham medal results so far: Women's judo 63kg silver

Team Scotland

Laura Muir (Athletics)

Tokyo Olympic silver, and a recent World Championships bronze in Eugene, but no Commonwealth medal in the trophy cabinet as yet – she missed the 2018 games to focus on her exams as a vet at Glasgow University.

Laura Muir with her recent World Championships bronze - Reuters
Laura Muir with her recent World Championships bronze - Reuters

Neah Evans (Cycling)

Also a qualified vet, Evans took a silver and bronze home from the last Commonwealth Games and won the Madison (with Laura Kenny) at the British National Championships this year, as well as the individual pursuit and the national points titles.

Birmingham medal results so far: 3,000m team pursuit bronze, individual points race silver.

Jack Carlin (Cycling)

Paisley-born sprint cyclist has a clutch of medals from the Olympics, Worlds, and Commonwealth Games but no gold as yet. Three titles at British Championships in March mark him out as a major contender in Birmingham.

Birmingham medal results so far: Keirin silver, sprint bronze

James Heatly (Diving)

Despite being born in Winchester, Heatly competes for Scotland – following in the footsteps of his grandfather Sir Peter Heatly, who won three Commonwealth (then the British Empire Games) golds in the 1950s before becoming chairman of the Commonwealth Games committee later in his life.

Duncan Scott (Swimming)

Part of the triumphant 4x200m freestyle relay quartet at Tokyo 2020, and winner of three further medals in Japan, thus becoming the first Brit to bring four medals back from an Olympics. Missed recent Worlds due to Covid; if fully recovered, will surely add to his seven Commonwealth medals so far.

Birmingham medal results so far: 200m freestyle gold, 400m individual medley bronze, 100m freestyle bronze, 4x200m freestyle bronze, 200m individual medley gold, 4x100m medley bronze.

Team Wales

Geraint Thomas (Cycling)

Ageless cycling great proved he still has the goods when finishing on the podium in this year's Tour de France, although he admitted he would not celebrate quite so hard as he might have done years ago, with one eye on delivering for Wales in Birmingham. Unfortunately a crash early on damaged his chances in the time trial and he had to settle for bronze.

Birmingham medal results so far: Cycling time-trial bronze

Anwen Butten (Lawn Bowls)

Butten takes her place for a remarkable sixth Commonwealth Games, having first competed in the event in 2002, where she won a bronze in the pairs event. Her mother was also an international lawn bowler.

Natalie Powell (Judo)

The 2014 Commonwealth Games champion at 78kg, Powell became the first British judoka to be ranked world number one. Her girlfriend Sanne van Dijke is also a top judoka, and is an Olympic bronze medallist.

Rosie Eccles (Boxing)

Won welterweight silver in the Gold Coast, losing on a split decision, and unlucky again when she got a virus that left her dramatically weakened on the right side of her body – and this for a woman known as 'Right-Hand Rosie' due to her punching power. She vows that her time is now.

Hannah Powell (Weightlifting)

The British record holder at 45kg, the pint-sized lifter grew up in Birmingham. She now competes at under-49kg, and is the Welsh record holder at that weight.

Daniel Jervis (Swimming)

Devoutly Christian Jervis is zeroing in on 1500m glory in the Commonwealth Games: he took bronze in 2014 and silver in 2018. He came out recently and says he wants to be a role model for young gay athletes.

Team Northern Ireland

Rhys McClenaghan (Gymnastics)

The 23-year-old from County Down won gold on the pommel horse at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, beating Max Whitlock.

Through no fault of his own, was at the centre of a row with the International Gymnastics Federation prior to this games, when the IGF said he could not compete for Northern Ireland because he had previously competed for Ireland. After angry intervention from politicians including Leo Varadkar, citing the Good Friday Agreement, the federation backed down.

Birmingham medal results so far: Pommel horse silver.

Rhys McClenaghan winning gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games - PA
Rhys McClenaghan winning gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games - PA

Tanya Watson (Diving)

Born in Southampton, but Irish through her Derry-born grandmother, the 20-year-old made history when she became Ireland's first competitor in an Olympics diving event. The former gymnast achieves another milestone here by becoming Northern Ireland's first female entrant into diving at a Commonwealth Games.

Aidan Walsh (Boxing)

Belfast-born welterweight hurt his ankle celebrating a quarter-final win in Tokyo 2020 (competing for Ireland) and had to pull out of his semi-final against Pat McCormack of England. McCormack is the Commonwealth champ at welterweight, so Walsh has a big chance to make up for that Olympics disappointment.

Amy Broadhurst (Boxing)

Boxing is Northern Ireland's most successful sport at the Commonwealths and, via the fists of the 2022 IBA world light-welterweight champion, they have every chance of adding a 14th gold. Born in Dundalk, Ireland, Broadhurst is nicknamed Baby Canelo.

Bethany Firth (Swimming)

Firth, who has an intellectual disability, also has a rare medal haul: she has a Paralympic gold for Ireland, five Paralympic golds for Team GB, and was so focused on winning the S14 200m freestyle to add a missing Commonwealth medal that she has postponed her honeymoon - and she duly delivered at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre.

Birmingham medal results so far: S14 200m freestyle gold.

Megan Marrs (Athletics)

Won gold at the 2018 British Indoor Championships in 60m hurdles and followed it up with gold again in 2022. Those wins came in Birmingham, and she goes to the Games keeping the family track and field flame alive: her mum was a former British high jump champ.