The Commonwealth Games got underway in Glasgow on Thursday, and it’s safe to say that it didn’t disappoint with a Day 1 to remember.
With medals on offer in cycling, gymnastics, judo, swimming, triathlon and weightlifting, Thursday’s action promised to be fiercely competitive, and so it proved.
Here’s a glance at the medal table after an eventful opening day in Glasgow, together with a look at the day’s top stories and Day 2's schedule:
|Badminton||9 a.m. BST|
|Bowls||08:45 a.m. BST|
|Boxing||1 p.m. BST|
|Cycling||11:01 a.m. BST|
|Gymnastics||1:30 p.m. BST|
|Hockey||9 a.m. BST|
|Judo||10 a.m. BST|
|Netball||09:30 a.m. BST|
|Shooting||08:45 a.m. BST|
|Squash||12:30 p.m. BST|
|Swimming||10:33 a.m. BST|
|Table Tennis||9:30 a.m. BST|
|Weightlifting||10 a.m. BST|
Mo Farah Withdraws from Games
Team England were hit with some devastating news on Day 1, as long-distance runner Mo Farah pulled out of the Games "due to illness"—per Eurosport:
BREAKING NEWS: Mo Farah has withdrawn from the Commonwealth Games due to illness.— Eurosport.com (@EurosportCom_EN) July 24, 2014
Set to compete in both the 5,000-metre and 10,000-metre races, the double world and Olympic champion has been struggling for fitness of late, but his withdrawal comes as a big shock.
It’s been a season to forget for Farah thus far, having fell at the New York half-marathon before struggling at the London Marathon, and pulling out of the Commonwealth Games is just the icing on a disastrous cake for the Brit.
He’s not the first big name from the successful Great Britain Olympic team to pull out of Glasgow, either, as BBC Sport’s Dan Roan revealed:
No Jess Ennis-Hill, no Katarina Johnson-Thompson, & now no Mo Farah. @Glasgow2014 having little luck with the big English names— Dan Roan (@danroan) July 24, 2014
It seems that what Farah really needs is a chance to recharge his batteries, having been in the spotlight both on and off the track since London 2012.
Everyone associated with Team England, and indeed Great Britain, will be hoping for a speedy recovery for the 31-year-old.
Sir Bradley Wiggins Claims Silver…Again
Another star from Great Britain’s London 2012 brilliance endured a frustrating day on Thursday, with cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins missing out on a Commonwealth Games gold medal once again.
Alongside Steven Burke, Ed Clancy and Andy Tennant in the 4,000-metre team pursuit, Wiggins lost out to Australia to add to his collection of silver medals—per Ben Smith of BBC Sport:
Not to be for Sir Bradley Wiggins. Four Commonwealth silver medals but not a single gold.— Ben Smith (@BenSmithBBC) July 24, 2014
The Aussies got off to an incredibly fast start at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, establishing a healthy lead over Team England’s riders just a few laps into the race.
Though they lost Luke Davison just over halfway through, Jack Bobridge, Alex Edmondson and Glenn O’Shea produced their best cycling as a trio to set a new Commonwealth Games record—per The Scotsman’s Martyn McLaughlin:
A new Commonwealth record for Australia with 3.54.851 as they deny #Glasgow2014 its first showpiece moment, with Wiggins + Eng taking silver— Martyn McLaughlin (@MartynMcL) July 24, 2014
Australia finished more than five seconds ahead of England, and Wiggins admitted in a post-race interview that his team weren’t up to scratch as a unit but looked ahead to a potentially exciting Olympic campaign in 2016—as BBC Sport reported:
We were all on different levels. Four weeks ago we sat in a room for the first time in six years and wondered how far we can go. We've had limited preparations for this and hopefully we will look back in two years' time with gold medals around our necks thinking "this was the starting point in Glasgow." I've said all along that the track was always what I was going to go back to. I need to put some muscle on and get stronger. It's going to be two years of graft and we can't underestimate how much work we have ahead to get in the right place for Rio.
Wiggins will need to train hard to get back to his best, and he has two years to do so before the Olympics come around.
As far as a Commonwealth gold medal goes, though, the 34-year-old will need to head to Australia in 2018 to finally accomplish his goal, and that may well prove to be his last chance.
Ross Murdoch Wins Battle of the Scots
Scotland’s Ross Murdoch upset the odds to win the hosts’ fourth gold medal of Day 1, beating countryman and Olympic champion Michael Jamieson in the 200-metre breaststroke final.
Murdoch set a new British and Commonwealth record of two minutes 7.30 seconds on his way to the gold medal, seeing off the challenge of Jamieson with around 50 metres remaining.
The 20-year-old appeared in disbelief at what he’d just achieved after claiming the gold medal, taking to Twitter to show his excitement:
COMMONWEALTH CHAMPION!!!!! [TeamRM]— Ross Murdoch (@RossMurdoch_) July 24, 2014
Murdoch spoke to BBC Sport after his race, dedicating the victory to his grandfather:
"There is no way that just happened. In the last 100 [metres] the sound was just amazing and it drove me on. It is my grandad's 70th birthday so that is for him."
Murdouch’s victory puts Scotland third in the medal table behind only Australia and England, and they’ll be hoping that Day 2 can be just as fruitful.