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How golden are these medals?

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Tom Fordyce | 16:30 UK time, Thursday, 7 October 2010

Jamaica's Lerone Clarke was all clenched fists as he dipped on the line to snatch Commonwealth 100m gold. England's Mark Lewis-Francis was all whoops and hollers and flapped St George's flags as he celebrated silver.

The reaction elsewhere may have been a little more muted. Even as the two men climbed onto the podium to collect their medals an hour or so later, to the sceptics and doubters the ghosts of 11 other sprinters were almost visible alongside them.

Those 11 were the fastest men in the Commonwealth this year, none of whom were here in Delhi. It wasn't just the big names, Usain Bolt and reigning champion Asafa Powell, but the next rung down - Nesta Carter, Daniel Bailey, Yohan Blake - and the rung below that, featuring Mario Forsythe and Steve Mullings. In total, just 11 of the Commonwealth's 30 top sprinters began the 100m heats on Wednesday night.

All of which might have raised an uncomfortable yet unavoidable question for those watching in the stadium and beyond: does this title really count for anything?

Looking back through the history books, it should do. The Commonwealth 100m crown has been held by some very high calibre athletes - Don Quarrie of Jamaica, Trinidad's Ato Boldon, former Olympic gold medallists Allan Wells and Linford Christie and former world record-holder Powell, let alone the later-disgraced Ben Johnson.

Jamaican Lerone Clarke pips England's Mark Lewis-Francis for the 100m gold in Delhi

Jamaican Lerone Clarke (R) pips England's Mark Lewis-Francis for the 100m gold in Delhi. Photo: Getty

To join that illustrious roll-call will mean a lot to Clarke. To others, the winning time might temper the comparisons. This title has been won in the sort of clockings that count on a global stage - 10.03 seconds by Quarrie in 1978 and 10.02 secs by Wells in 1982, albeit both with following winds; 9.91 secs by Christie in 1994 and 9.88 secs by Ato Boldon in Kulaa Lumpur in 1998. Set alongside, Thursday night's winning time of 10.12 secs could appear distinctly average.

Then again, times at different venues in different conditions do not always bear comparison, just as the Jamaican cannot be blamed for the big-name absentees. As the old cliché has it, you can only beat who's there.

And there were more rivals to beat than at any other Commonwealth Games - almost twice as many as Quarrie had to beat in 1974, 14 more than Kim Collins had to see off in Manchester eight years ago.

Quantity, true, does not always equal quality. There are no qualifying standards for the Commonwealths, which allows the smaller and developing nations to participate more fully but does mean that the size of fields can be artificially inflated; Montserrat and Niue both sent three athletes apiece to the men's 100m, while 20 entrants had failed to dip under even 11 seconds this year.

The personal bests of those on the blocks back up the notion of a less than first-rate competition. While 16 men had gone better than 10.31 seconds, only two had gone under 10 seconds, and even then by a single hundredth of a second.

It's a similar story in the women's 100m. At its best, the Commonwealth final could be from the very top drawer; four of the fastest six women in the world this year were eligible to be here. But Veronica Campbell-Brown, Shelly-Ann Fraser, Kerron Stewart and Kelly-Ann Baptiste were all missing from the start-lists.

There is, however, a rather different way of looking at it. Times aren't the only thing that makes sport fascinating. There's the richness of the contest itself - how hard it is to call, the closeness of the finish, the drama between gun and finishing line.

This men's 100m final worked on several levels. There was no clear-cut favourite as the athletes settled on their blocks; Sam Effah had the quickest season's best, MLF the experience, Clarke the best PB.

It had drama at the start - Lewis-Francis's blocks slipping, Clarke exploding away for a lead he would never relinquish. And it was also a spectacle all the way through the 10.2 seconds, the Englishman powering back through the field with a fine piece of relaxed power over the last 50 metres.

Beyond that, there were human stories that should engage all but the hardest of hearts. For Clarke this was the greatest moment of his career, his chance to keep his country's proud record in this event going (six golds and counting) and to fill the gap left by his better-known compatriots.

At 29 he is not going to be a new global star, but for a man who doesn't always make the Jamaican sprint relay squad, this was his moment in the sun.

"This means the world to me," he admitted afterwards. "It's a blessing to come out here and run."

Watching on BBC TV in England were his mother and eldest brother. He hasn't seen them for six years. He had hoped to get an invite to run at the Diamond League meet at Crystal Palace this summer so he could travel over to see them; this win might make that dream come true next time around.

For Lewis-Francis, always ebullient, always animated, this silver was another step - after his silver at this summer's European Championships - in his gradual rehabilitation in the upper echelons of global sprinting. Had it not been for those blocks slipping, it might even have been gold.

Eight years ago in Manchester, as the most hotly-tipped tyro in the event, he pulled up in the final with injury. In Melbourne four years later he found himself disqualified. Few could deny him his celebrations in Delhi.

"I've got a Commonwealth curse," he shrugged ruefully. "There's that disappointment of knowing what could have been. I'm gutted. There could have been a lot more there.

"But this is an amazing season for me. This is one of the greatest years of my life. I was out injured for two years, but life's not about giving up - it's about digging in and coming back harder."

That women's final was also drenched in drama - a false start, a protest from England's Laura Turner after her disqualification, Sally Pearson - having won the race - denied what could have been the first part of a possible 100m/100m hurdles double after a protest from England over her false start, plus the niggardly back-story of an England-Australia beef that stretches back to the Aussies' own appeal against England at the Commonwealths four years ago.

Even as the last spectator left the stadium, the result was still in doubt, with Australia losing a subsequent counter-appeal and Pearson called back and given the bad news as she was preparing to head out for her medal ceremony.

Meaningful or meaning less? You make up your own mind. Just don't try arguing the toss with Clarke, Pearson or Lewis-Francis.


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  • Comment number 1.

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  • Comment number 2.

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  • Comment number 5.

    can someone please provide a link so that i can stop being a contributor!

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.

    hey tom

    how about a story about the aussie who was robbed of a gold by the indian organisers of the games?

    when do we see that?

  • Comment number 8.

    oh boy tom, looks like no one is allowed to criticise you. how lucky you are

  • Comment number 9.

    anyways, this is the CWG. someone right said earlier, who cares!! if it weren't for BBC's extremely balanced attitude towards the Indians holding the games. it wouldn't even be in the news.

  • Comment number 10.

    shame on us,where has our english fair play gone is this a sigh of the times .
    the aussie won the race fair and square
    shame on us

  • Comment number 11.

    oh wow

    finally the bbc moves the slur against the Indian CM to front page news. not headlines mind you but atleast front page. Indian failings are headlines.

  • Comment number 12.

    Sabu, something tells me you're quite angry about something. Instead of wasting the editors' time with your childlike attempt of disruption, why don't you make a cohesive post detailing the shortcomings of these games. Then maybe, we will actually pay any attention to you, whatsoever.

  • Comment number 13.

    oh no cfn006, shame on us indian for the poor show. forget that the IAAF determines the rules. it's the indian who are to blame for the sigh of the times. if only we didn't the indians host these beautiful events, we'd all be so much the better

  • Comment number 14.

    These championships are very lacklustre as a whole and this from someone who loved attending some of the events in Manchester 2002.

    When the commentators were talking about the fastest man in the Commonwealth you couldn't help but think 'well that's Usain Bolt obviously'. For me the absences mean that I am struggling for enthusiasm or many of the events.

  • Comment number 15.

    cfn006, th aussie did not win the race fair and square. She and the english runner both false started and should not have been in the re-run. The officials screwed up and should not have taken their appeal after the false start took place, that is against the IAAF rules.

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    Basically the event is a total shambles. How can a major event take place when the facilities have not been tested?
    Lewis francis's Blocks slid out from under him, he was lucky to stay on his feet.
    Boxing scales not properly calibrated and tested before use, so boxers sent waway to lose weight when they didn't need to.
    It won't be long before some body has a serious injury due to something failing.

  • Comment number 18.

    Tiger Rose

    I agree, they should hold all future games in proper cities.

  • Comment number 19.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 20.

    Oh Red Galore

    apparently i can't respond to your comments and be as childish as you are!!

  • Comment number 21.

    Quick edit, I believe the winning time was 10.12.

    Good to see Mark Lewis-Francis on the podium again, I must say I thought he had a shocking start initially but after seeing the replay and the blocks slip, it was a very good performance to get a silver.

  • Comment number 22.

    These sprint medals are more golden than the European sprint medals. Christophe Lemaitre won in a time of 10.13 and the winning time today was 10.12. When Lemaitre won I didn't see an article having a go at him.

  • Comment number 23.


    You're obviously someone who finds offense in his own shadow. This is a perfectly valid blog and would have been written if these games were held in London under the same circumstances. One of the great things about the BBC is that you're allowed to voice you're opinion even when it's rediculous. Great isn't it.

  • Comment number 24.

    @JP52 - I suppose the key thing there is not necessarily the time, but the quality of the field. In the Europeans, most of the eligible athletes took part. As mentioned above, most of the fastest eligible athletes are not st the games.

    I'm amazed that Mark Lewis-Francis managed to get a silver after the blocks slipped, what a marvellous second 50m he ran.

    I think it's correct that Sally Pearson lost the appeal, she false started and should not have run. If you are officiating at an event it is imperative that you know the rules (even though there is some room for discretion when it comes to two athletes false starting, it's pretty clear that the two false starts are unconnected).

    Still, isn't this why we all love sport? It's great to have something to argue about that isn't the X factor....

    When's your next decathlon Tom?

  • Comment number 25.

    Can we please get a sense of perspective and learn to spell.It really dont matter any more.

  • Comment number 26.

    Queen did not open the games ,Price charles did the thing.
    so how good / relavent is commonwealth in 2010 ?

    Time to dissolve commonwealth in the present format ?

  • Comment number 27.

    History books only record winners, so your blog is a waste of time. The winner of this year's CWG 100m for men and women won't care one iota about your opinion, they have a gold medal that will be with them for the rest of their lives.

  • Comment number 28.

    Whoopee doo, yet another negative article from the BBC. Shame Mr Fordyce, some of your earlier posts seemed to have grasped what the CG are all about, but now it seems you have spent too much time around the relentlessly surly James Pearce.

    God help us in 2012. Any Olympic event that doesn't feature David Beckham or Katie Price will clearly be deemed inferior by the increasingly superficial BBC "correspondents".

  • Comment number 29.

    One has to feel for Glasgow. Although it has been threatening to happen for some time, these games have finally sounded the death knoll for the Commonwealth Games. Episodes such as happened in the women's 100m could occur at any games. Sadly, one is quickly getting the impression that the bridge collapsing, the athlete's village, the blocks slipping, the track being reworked after the games had started, etc. etc. etc. are simply evidence that the Games were awarded to a nation great in so many ways but not yet ready for this.

    I'm sorry to all the successful athletes and all the enthusiastic fans but I'm afraid that these games have been devalued beyond repair. Feel free to argue, but I am fairly confident that they will not be remembered for the sporting achievements.

    The blog also highlights the other critical issue. For any tournament to have a great deal of merit, the best athletes in the eligible geographical area must want to attend. By and large, they don't. Maybe in some minority events they may be spied, but in any showcase event they are not there.

    I'm sorry, this is potentially the most negative post I've ever put on a BBC blog but to be honest, I've found these games really quite depressing. To end on a backhanded positive note, I have been impressed with the Beeb's coverage. Bearing in mind they are broadcasting the Games they have a vested interest in bigging them up and selling them, yet the coverage has been very even-handed, refusing to paper over the mistakes and giving due credit to the sportsmen and women competing.

  • Comment number 30.

    What you don't comment on is WHY these "top" athletes are missing. I suspect in some cases, and it often is the sprinters, they regard themselves as elite individuals running for money and not as representatives of their country. To them the games are an inconvenience that disrupts their training schedule based on appearance monies.
    I am happy to applaud the medal winners who are there, doing their best for their country and, yes, themselves.

  • Comment number 31.

    These games are now a joke. Substandard facilites, sick swimmers not able to compete and expensive stadia with few spectators are just a few of the reasons why India should never have been awarded these games. The treatment of the poor there, China and my guess in pre Olympics Brazil makes one wonder.
    Sydney 2000, Melbourne 2006 and what I read about London 2012 are good examples of what can be done to stage true world class events that benefit their countries and athletes. All major sports have their world championships and the Olympics. That is sufficient for the eltie athletes. The Commonwealth Games do give younger athletes experience on the world stage but at what cost to the poor in our developing nations?

  • Comment number 32.

    Carry On Commonwealth Games.
    Plug eeet, plug eeet!

  • Comment number 33.

    Tom let's hope those getting their time in the limelight due to the other top athletes absence savour this moment and use it for bigger and better things.

    On another note this Sabu guy's great. Sabu if you're reading this please come back and give us some more pearls of wisdom - god knows we need a laugh...

  • Comment number 34.

    As far as India is concerned, those who turned up are the real athletes. Those who chickened out have let themselves and the sports down. More athletes than ever before in the history of CWG are participating in these games. They are not fool, those who chickened out....are.

  • Comment number 35.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 36.

    Well the commonwealths are a bit pointless. At the end we'll get to be all patronising and European and say something like:
    "Well you gave us a scare there, but you put on a jolly good show in the end!"

    to which the Indians will reply:
    "We told you we could do it, We sure showed you!"

    Ultimately it's a back slapping exercise. There is no sporting achievement here.

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    26. At 9:20pm on 07 Oct 2010, BakedBeans wrote:
    Queen did not open the games ,Price charles did the thing.
    so how good / relavent is commonwealth in 2010 ?
    Time to dissolve commonwealth in the present format ?
    The Queen didn't open the games because India is a long flight for someone who is 83 years old.
    As the Commonwealth saved us (& most of western Europe) in 2 world wars, personally, I'd rather it stayed. Despite the problems, these games have had, I'd rather rely on the Indians than the French, for my defence.

  • Comment number 39.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 40.

    While it is all very interesting to see athletes performing at the pinnacle of their sport, and the Olympic Games is clearly the venue for this, the very essence of sport is the personal challenge, against your own constraints and those imposed by circumstances. This is what makes sports so widely appealing and these are the stories that the media should be providing us with - the personal triumphs - instead of obsessing over winners and medals. Add to that the fact that the Commonwealth stands for international cooperation, interaction and exchange - values that carry increasing weight in this world following the damage the financial system has inflicted on the trust that binds the international system together - and one can see that the Games represents much more than a simple sporting competition. It really is about "how you play the game", every bit as much as winning or losing, and I hope the athletes will return home with new friendships made and enhanced hope for the possibility of a better world, independent of how they faced up to their own limitations.

  • Comment number 41.

    >>> The Queen didn't open the games because India is a long flight for someone who is 83 years old.

    She visited Canada recently no problems thn.

    >>I'd rather rely on the Indians than the French, for my defence.

    Why should Indians save you ? Any reason ? what is in it for them ?

    It should be no hate no love relationship.thats it.

    Common wealth is no longer relavent.

  • Comment number 42.


    Whats wrong? I think you need a hug.

  • Comment number 43.

    Ref #35 stracepipe, "racist slur": I didn't mind the deliberate mis pronounciation of Ms. Dixit's name by Paul Henry - I am an Indian and we have done that many times when we are angry with the CM. What was offensive was the overt generalization, "becuase she's Indian" - Well, if you find that "good humor" then so be it - I thought it was distasteful. Regarding the much maligned Indian caste system as a basis for keeping Indian senstitivities in the closet - one generally recognized social ill does not justify another. If this justification-based reasoning was espoused worldover, the Western hemisphere will have a lot of trouble in preaching to the rest of the world. So I guess, you emjoyed the Paul Henry comment - keep enjoying - don;t tell others how they should interpret it.

    On topic, every athlete has the right to feel proud of their acievement in a given context. If you question the validity of their effort, then you might as well question the basis for holding these games......

  • Comment number 44.


    How insular and uncultured can a person be??! You certainly must be close to setting new records.

    The Commonwealth is a non-political body dedicated to fair & free trade, individual liberty, world peace and the promotion of democracy. In recent years applicants have included nations such as Algeria and Madagascar which weren't even former British colonies or protectorates, such is the worldwide interest and belief in the value of the organisation. All in all, sounds like a pretty terrific body to me.

    And BakedBeans, maybe you should take some time to read about the work of the Commonwealth Foundation in helping reduce inequalities and reduce poverty, operating since 1965. As an Englishman growing up in Fiji I saw firsthand some of the fabulous work this body did, from cpaital investments to education programmes.

    The Commonwealth is vital in improving many people's lives and the Games are one of its greatest assets for promoting it and celebrating it. You think its irrelevant... guess purusing peace, supporting democracy and easing poverty are also irrevelant objectives in your little mind then?

  • Comment number 45.

    >>>And BakedBeans, maybe you should take some time to read about the The Commonwealth is a non-political body dedicated to fair & free trade, individual liberty, world peace and the promotion of democracy.

    I saw it in thanks.

  • Comment number 46.

    Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Nesta Carter, Daniel Bailey, Yohan Blake etc are wimps who chose not to participate in the event. It's their loss.

  • Comment number 47.

    Completely agree with #44.
    However, let's be honest there were serious doubts and many negative stories surrounding these games from months back. I understand why so many athletes haven't gone, and it's only been proven in hindsight by the quality of these games that they probably made the safe decision. No Dheli Belly for THEM at least. Saw one of our swimmers on the news early (her name escapes me) complaining that her toilet didn't even flush. It's basic stuff that just hasn't been delivered. I don't think this signals the end of the Commonwealth games, I just think it has hit a bad note with these particular games. This isn't anything racist against India(before someone starts complaining as is the tendacy of responding to these blogs) but it's just so plain to see how bad it's been this year. Nevertheless, those who have won medals can savour those medals, and I think it's bad form to effectively snigger at their success.
    Ah, debate. You're earning your pennies, Tom.

  • Comment number 48.

    ERRRR #47 (APLikes): The toilets are backedup becuase the participants did not realize that they are not appropriate medium for disposing used condoms. Perhaps, we the orgnizers should have put up a note --maybe? Chekout the stroy in the Guardian or Reuters. Delhi belly, by the way, is not just cuased by the ingestion of contaminated water or food - if you are not used to the heat/humidity, the sudden exposure to radically different environs can do it becuase of sudden changes in physiology, particularly, blood-water and tissue osmolarity (that is, Sir, why it lasts only for 24 hrs, and only affected a minority of participants [tonque-in-cheek: too much sex with other physical training can cause it!!]- if it was infectious it would be much, much more - I know it cos I am a microbiologist).

  • Comment number 49.

    i don't know about the rest of the Commonwealth countries, but as an Australian i am mightily glad it was the British who got here first. The French, led by the explorer La Perouse arrived in what is now Sydney a very short time after the British had claimed it as a territory. if the British hadn't arrived when they did we'd have beeen a French colony at least until the early 1940's, at whch time we would have surrendered to the Japanese, who were trying to invade at the time.

  • Comment number 50.

    25. At 9:20pm on 07 Oct 2010, Southcoasttony wrote:
    Can we please get a sense of perspective and learn to spell.It really dont matter any more.

    Grammar and punctuation too?

  • Comment number 51.

    Wasnt the winning time 10.12 not 10.2???

  • Comment number 52.

    I'm such a proud Brit, I'm not even an athletics fan, but I greatly enjoy the Commonwealth Games and was thrilled by the drama in both the men's and woman's 100m.

    So it shames me to say how massivly disappointed I am with our athletics team that they denied Sally Pearson that medal that she so richly deserved.

    Regardless of the false start, she won the race fare and square and there could be no doubt that in her post run interview Katherine Endacott was thrilled with fourth.

    If I was her I would have been embarassed to have collected my medal, just like the entire athletics GB team should have been embarassed by their complaint.

    Some will say eye for an eye after what happened four years ago, but our team couldn't take the higher ground and applaud the athlete who should have deserved our admiration. Instead we robbed her of the greatest moment of her life.

    For thhe first time since Blomfontein, I'm utterly ashamed of my country.

  • Comment number 53.

    You either compete or you don't.The winner is the first person across the line and the satisfaction to that person is complete,they entered,they won.
    The end

  • Comment number 54.

    if the times in which races are won are all that matters, then 90% of the annual athletics meeting calendar is meaningless. But of course that is not the case; a race is won by outranking your opponents in a race, doing JUST enough to make sure you get there first. Even in such time dominated events as long track speedskating. Or cycling individual time trials. If that then is also a world or other record, fine, but that is the icing on the cake. If that was not the case then records that remain unbroken for many years render all other subsequent competitions meaningless (" yeah well... Fanny Blankers Koen didnt run in this one...huh!"). Races against opponents are about strategy and not the clock. Even if no records were broken this time, there is no guarantee the race wouldn't have been won by the same guy or girl if certain other athletes had taken part. That may just have required a different strategy. Congratulations to all winners - you have the right to be proud of your achievement

  • Comment number 55.


    IMHO, if the games were being held in London, there wouldn't be as many failings.

  • Comment number 56.

    "So it shames me to say how massivly disappointed I am with our athletics team that they denied Sally Pearson that medal that she so richly deserved"

    The English appeal was against Turner's false start. It was the Nigerian appeal that got Sally Pearson DQed.

    How is this even complicated?

  • Comment number 57.


    you have a serious case of being offended by people's rights to comment. or did you just miss the whole censorship being enforced here for some reason?

    no one is saying things aren't bad. question being asked is why are other nations involved in the games not put under the same microscope and intensity. why this scant coverage of all negative aspects of some of the teams involved in the games? if you are being brutally honest, be brutally honest in everything.

    no need for a hug, all this negative coverage shows a nation unwilling to let go of a "commonwealth" and needing a hug. you should give Tom a hug.

    another broken record playing? yes india has a caste system and it is slow getting out of it. that justifies the BBC not covering the NZ slurs? i did not get that this is how it was meant work. india has not right to comment period as we a flawed country, unlike yours i am sure.

  • Comment number 58.

    HammerousUnited, read comment on sarcasm being the lowest form of wit;) you are a hoot.

    please carry on with your one sided reporting. From the censorship being applied it is clear you will not other nations in negative light.

  • Comment number 59.

    Tom, BBC

    still waiting on a negative (oops sorry i mean balanced) report on the other nations. lowering myself to your and your follower level with the sarcasm. ;)

  • Comment number 60.

    To all those who are writing about caste system in India, it is more a British legacy than Indian.

    The British called any British officer who married an Indian half-caste and paid them less then an equal ranking British officer. Ofcourse an Indian would get even less. These half-castes BTW were not allowed into officers clubs etc etc.

    The Brits do not even tell their own people their history. THey all view their past with rose-tinted glasses.

    Now that we have the MEtro, airport etc etc, we should unilateraly withdraw from the Commonwealth countries, and from there on, it will be death of the commonwealth.

  • Comment number 61.

    Quick request to all concerned - this is a blog about the two 100m finals. Any chance we could try to keep the comments focused on that a touch more?

  • Comment number 62.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 63.

    Hi Tom,

    I thought you had left already given the response you got for your previous blog entry.

    Anyways one can hardly change one's attitude can we? Some body will be pessimistic no matter what. And one cannot change one organization like BBC who has a hidden agenda of policing the event, to serve at CWG.

    So may you find peace and see you at London Games. I am sure you would have changed by then ;-)

    Good bye,
    Proud Indian

  • Comment number 64.

    sabu, it must be so hard to lift your fingers up to the keyboard with that massive chip on you shoulder. you really do need a hug

  • Comment number 65.

    I note that the English noname who was fourth over the line in the womens 100m and who initiated the protest against Sally Pearson is coached by Linford Christie .
    No suprises there

  • Comment number 66.

    On a completely unrelated note, why is it that on the main sport page on the CG Banner there can be found a graphic of a set of Olympic Rings?

  • Comment number 67.

    Hi Tom and BBC,

    Wish the journals in this section showed a little respect to
    India's effort to hold the games. This is unfortunate...

  • Comment number 68.

    Hi Tom and BBC,

    Measuring factor for quality of any sporting event is definitely includes the quality of its participants. However why there is no reports on "WHY' the so called top quality guns are not appearing in this games? If all of these atheletes there can participates why they cant? Where is the so called security issues? And where are the complaints about hygene in village? I believe India and Indians have shown very well to the rest of the world an atmost level of caring attitude to her guests. and again why do u degrade the value of other participants only because the eletes are not there? Who really sets the standards here? No sporting talent is ever shining. new talents should be found, new talents should be appreciated. This will be considered as an example of negative journalism and I really afraid what will these posts convey as an image of BBC to all Indians. I really fear it might be so damaging since this really hurts national sentiments which no news agency should ever do to any country on this planet. Lets open our eyes..accept the truth even if it is unplesant.However dont write just to hurt a hosting country.Even if you remove this comment, please think positively and we expect very good posts with facts(even if they are critical,we really appreciate the truth)

  • Comment number 69.

    I hope that your title asks how golden CWG medals are in general and not these medals are in particular. If the athletes cant care enough to come for the CWG then perhaps the whole concept of the CWG needs to be looked at again? I personally love it and i know what you are saying, 'Its cos India can finally win a medal'. Well you are right, it IS cos we can compete. It IS a fine platform for us to show off athletes and solves the chicken-egg problem of developing interest in a game vs winning in the game.

    There doesn't seem to be any reason to miss the games other than the athletes whims and well, no one can help that. The facilities are top notch, in other events the fighting is fierce and everyone is all happy about everything (except the swimmers).
    Perhaps this article is factual but it is written in a tone of blame rather than regret which i strongly disagree with.

  • Comment number 70.

    >>> Quick request to all concerned - this is a blog about the two 100m finals. Any chance we could try to keep the comments focused on that a touch more?

    lol why ? was it not you who was talking about morality etc in the opening ceremony blog?

  • Comment number 71.

    CWG opening show by India was Spectactcular!!

    CWG Presentation was spectalcular and it is

    now matched by some very good performance by

    India in the game with best results to

    continue to boost the Gold tally!!!!!!!!

    In opening ceremony ,It was great to see so

    much cultural diversity of India with

    breathtaking and magnificient ..




    Yoga and

    above all Journey of Railways connecting the entire country was indeed show case of real life encounter we face in Rail Journey

    World over it was praised and was watched by 4 billion people....

    As an Indian ,I felt great that it was indeed great showcase of 5000 yr old cultural Panorma of incredible India, presented very well.

  • Comment number 72.

    I don't understand why the British media is so obsessed with showing us Indians down. What you should be concentrating upon is the FIFA 2012, bid coming up. Are you ready for it? Will you be able to host it? The world has its doubts'. As far as the Commonwealth games are concerned, there is something known as opportunity, people who have come here and are participating took that opportunity and if they are winning in the absence of the world class stars, is in no way a loss to them or the entire sports fraternity. The worth of that medal is the same had Bolt participated in the 100m, its not like they are getting them free now is it? The athletes have put in a lot of hard work and they deserve what they are earning here, the standard is the same, minus a few big faces. The gold is still the gold medal, the worth of it hasn't changed. Go take digs at Rooney, I thought BBC was an unbiased and open minded NEWS agency, but now I fail to agree with my previous notions.

  • Comment number 73.


    lets all get together for a group hug you seem to be he one with the chip on your shoulder. take a load off.


    Why restrict? you brought morality into all of this, we didn't? now you want it played your rules only? where is the morality in that? You have issues with third world development approach.

    This is not about India at all for me, this has been consistent from the BBC when the Cricket Cup was held in the West Indies, the build up to World Cup in South Africa, Olympics in China. Why not put the same scrutiny with when the "developed" world is holding it? Why did the BBC not hold a morality argument when the Aussies held the CWG and the Olympics. Is the Aboriginal way of life on par with the rest of Australia? you let them showcase one person of that descent as if that solved all the problems there.

    Seems the people with chips on their shoulder are the ones who want this negative painting to continue.

    So explain something to us Indians who clearly don't know anything about providing a balanced view -
    1. Security is a concern. Why are you in a slum apparently 2 hrs away? Why did you not have a security team with you? Why were you not wearing bulletproof vest and helmet? I mean security was a major concern and yet you are moving freely.
    2. Health issues. hmmm, what exactly made you go into a slum when diseases are all over the place? Did you not hear the warning? Ok, you are not an athlete so you could take some drugs but some of these things have no vaccines. lets not forget the snake, did you find the slum snake free?

    I hope Sri Lanka get the games we bid for. Be nice to get more international events staged in the South Asia and this constant stigma that gets hyped by ignorant commentators are put in their place as we get the needed experience that is being held back in the guise of morality.

  • Comment number 74.

    oh, how about the freedom of press there compared to the censorship here.

  • Comment number 75.

    To All those who crip that facilities are not good..
    Yes, they may not be good. But they are not bad. Why they are not good is, because India is not so wealthy as other countries like England and US.Why is India not so wealthy? Because India was looted for 800 Years by Moghals and then the English rule. If you are powerful than other, then the way you treat others show your real identity. And History has proved what identity different people of different regions have..hope you guys got the point. Stop criticizing.

  • Comment number 76.

    Oh Good ole Tom, moved on to his next story without having to answer the morality question. The classic balanced way. Oh by the way, the reason I choose the Aussie example is because the natives there lost their entire country and are living in sub standard conditions. Similar situation to the slum piece except this is the situation 200 years after.

  • Comment number 77.

    didn't realise you were an aussie? i understand your comments better now. come here let me give you a big hug, oh you poor thing

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 79.

    These games are shocking. The swimmers are falling ill due to water quality and the Australian sprinter has had her gold taken from her following a blunder by officials. This should have been taken car of on the spot but due to lack of planning and testing all the equipment is not as accurate as it should be. The people who gave India the games should be held accountable.

  • Comment number 80.

    VAMOS, whatever makes you feel better about yourself.

  • Comment number 81.


    Funny your followers are allowed to be as vulgar as they please and BBC censorship (moderation)is what it is.

  • Comment number 82.

    i'm joining the conversation late and apologise if any one has made this point but have you noticed that the great bulk of australia's god medals have come in sports-cycling and gymnastics- from which leading English and other british competitors are absent?

    How valuable are those gold medals?

  • Comment number 83.

    Before having a go at the athletes for missing the games, how about filling the stadiums? That's what you get for giving a third world country some responsibility.

    Sabu, just stating the obvious about you, sorry

  • Comment number 84.

    @75 Vamsi Vallurik,

    You are very wrong. Firstly the Mughals (Central Asian Turks) ruled India for 332 years prior to Euroepan rule. The Muslim rule for 500 years before that were from other parts such as Arabs, Afghans, Iranians and Turks, at varius stages.

    Anyway, you can't say the Muslims looted India because they all stayed and became Indians whereas the British and other Euroepans were only there to divert India's wealth back to their own countries and to further expand their empire with these resources, to even as far afield as the US and Canada, of course.

  • Comment number 85.

    History books only record winners,
    Nope, they record times as well.

    As for the Lemaitre comparison, ye there were plenty of caveats mentioned about his time being nowhere near world class then as well.

  • Comment number 86.

    As opposed to stating the obvious about you and the rest of your negativity. Need to put down a nation down to feel good about yourself. VAMOS (hiding behind a spanish name??)

  • Comment number 87.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 88.

    How Golden? How Golden then are European Championship Sprint medals with no USA, Jamaica, Trinidad etc etc. And as for who is World-class or not, just keep an eagle eye on the next Olympics for the new Vanuatu record holder in the 1500m - no disrespect to Vanuatu, just clutching a name.

    Competitors can win against those who are IN - pointless twaddle to offer comparison to those who are not,

  • Comment number 89.

    What am I hiding from? Try to make sense.

  • Comment number 90.

    Don't get me wrong, the Muslims did waste a lot of wealth indulging themselves like the building of great monuments like the Taj Mahal, the Tomb of Humayun and others, but they never stole India's resources back to their hiomeland because India became their homeland.

  • Comment number 91.

    Tom (#61) - If you ignore some of the needless comments (#78 for e.g.) then there is actually some worthwhile discussion here. I realise that the blog is trying to focus on the two 100m finals, but the truth is that the way the Games have gone so far means that any individual event is going to be placed in the broader context of some of the issues that have dogged the games. This is a pretty natural response for fans of track and field who have been left pretty disappointed thus far.

  • Comment number 92.

    VAMOS amigo/a

    Looks like someone has issues here. Take a seat VAMOS tell us about your issues.

    You want a blog to take digs over every nation but no one can say anything back. Hmmm, how wonderfully balanced.

    Why right do I have to defend the French? I'm not French. I also thought this was a commonwealth blog, why bring the French into this?

    OK for the blogs and the reporting to go non stop in their criticism and not picking but nothing to stop that.

    As for my life, I will do as I please with it. Oh I forget you think you own us, ah, well reality can be painful to handle get used to it.

    What happened people? Shoe on the other foot pinches??!

  • Comment number 93.


    Again you dont make any sense. I didn't bring the French up first, they have no business here, this is about the games and India made them into a farce, who else are we supposed to have a go at?

  • Comment number 94.

    Pearson should have been allowed to keep the gold. Yes, she false started but after the British girl. Reaction times were 0.70 and 0.71. The rules are quite clear - the FIRST person to false start is disqualified, not everyone who makes a false start. Further, there is NO right to run under protest. The British girl should NOT have run anyway.

  • Comment number 95.

    It's not just the sprint medals the whole competition is meaningless. The idea of the Commonwealth is so antiquated it really has no place in modern sport.

  • Comment number 96.

    Sabu, I realise that many of the correspondents may not have been too diplomatic in their comments re the Games but I don't think that people are having a go at India as a nation. My disappointment is simply with the people responsible for organising the Games, the construction etc etc. - not the Indian people.

    Whilst I realise that it may appear as though the reporting is one-sided, the fact is that the bridge collapse, the weightlifting arena, the athletes village, the starting blocks, the running track etc all actually happened. This is not the norm for a major sporting event and it is most definitely worthy of reporting. This blog goes out of its way to try and concentrate on the sport, but it is a blog and so people have a right to go off at tangents.

    I'm not suggesting India can't host sporting events (Watching a ODI v Australia at Eden Gardens was an unforgettable experience), I'm not suggesting that India isn't 'worthy' of the Games. I, like many, was looking forward to the Games being hosted in India and am simply a bit disappointed.

    I also agree that bringing the caste system into the conversation is wholly irrelevant - every country has their perceived injustices, ours included - and demonstrates a naivety about Indian culture (though I am not claiming to be an expert myself).

    If in 2012 the English facilities are of a similar standard then I would expect similar criticism from the global community - we would deserve it.

  • Comment number 97.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 98.


    WOW. I am at home feeling sick and these comments have proper cheered me up. It has turned out to be an India vs the rest of the World match.

    Lets getsome things straight. For those of you thhave decifered my name i am a non resident Indian living in the UK. Thats the name given to people whose family were originally from India but living elsewhere and the whole debate has gone way off track. You have people defending India, people criticising India, then youhave people like me who are laughing at you. India isnt as great as some people on here might have you believe, you just need to go on any news site and look. It is also not as bad as others might have you believe. The fact is the games have been disorganised, to schedule them during/just after the monsoon season was stupid, if they had just researched the last few years and, as a person who regularly visits Inida several times a year, i feel i am qualified to say a lot of the people like to take short cuts. I was not suprised to hear about the whole problem before the games, but stuff happens. You will always get controversy at any games. Look at Ben Johnson at the Olympics. At that time thats all there was on the news. Dont bother reply to have a go as i will just LOL again. Journalism is like everything, some people agree some dont. keep up the good work BBC, coverage is excellent and the reporting IS fair.

    oh before I go.........LOL.

  • Comment number 99.

    Of course these games are meaningless, unless you are part of the Commonwealth, which is a significant economic and political world-wide organisation, which represents about 25% of the world population.

    In the same way the European championships (in any sport) are meaningless, unless you are European. The British AAA championships are meaningless, unless you are British. Just because the Americans don't participate is no reason to say that the Athletics is meaningless.

    Don't forget that for some sports (Netball, Bowls, Squash) these are the only multi-sport games, that I know of, in which they can participate.

    OK, some events are not world class, because the best in the world are not part of the organisation (or can't be bothered to turn up), but then the same applies to events in the European Athletics where most of the events are below par because of the lack of athletes from America, Africa, and the Caribbean. That does not make them meaningless! There are only one type of sporting competition that can be world-class, and those are competitions that are open to the whole world such as World Championships for the various sports, and the Olympics.

    A prime example of 'meaningless' sport, would be the Ryder Cup, which usually only involves players from about 5 or 6 countries (USA, UK, Ireland, Spain, and maybe a couple of other European nations each time). What about the Australians, South Africans, Japanese, etc.? Does anyone outside of these countries care about it?

  • Comment number 100.

    1. Stop making this a political/race blog.
    2. Ask the athletes who won their golds how much they mean - suspect you will get a pretty universal answer.
    3. Well done to MLF. He could have/should have appealed over the poor state of the blocks - this type of thing shouldn't happen at low level never mind a major competition. MLF showed true CW/Olympic spirit in the way he handled this - delighted with the result and didn't feel the need to go through a process of appeal.
    4. Shambles with the womans 100m Sally should have been DQ'd immediatly and in professional sports appeals are now a way of life. Katherine now has a CW bronze and that will help her get funding in the future.
    5. India do seem to have dropped the ball on the organization. A shame, but then I blame the organizing committee for not being on the case 12 months ago and making sure that pressure was being applied then - not finding out when the first teams arrived.


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