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Hey everybody! Did you know this years’ Commonwealth Games features 17 different sports taking place all across the city?

I’ll be going to as many of the events as I can, so make sure you say ‘Hi’ if you see me at the Games.
cartoon of kit diving*
  image of a flipper aquatics header
You can catch all the swimming, diving and synchronised swimming events at the Manchester Aquatics Centre.

Australia are red-hot favourites to win the most swimming medals. Superstar Ian Thorpe is hoping to win the most Commonwealth medals ever this year. Good luck Ian!

Elite athletes with a disability will be swimming in the main competition for the first time in any multi-sport Games.
 
       
  image of starter spring athletics header
Athletics is split into 3 sections:
• Track (e.g. sprinting)
• Field (e.g. long jump)
• Road (e.g. marathon)


One of the most exciting athletics events is the decathlon. Athletes have to score points in 10 events to win!

You can watch the marathons and walking events for free. Look out for them on Manchester’s streets.
 
       
  image of a shuttle cock badminton header
All the badminton events will be held at the Bolton Arena.

Badminton is one of the few sports where men and women compete on the same level. Several of the games’ stars are English.

It was invented 150 years ago in the great hall of an English stately home.
 
       
  image of a boxing glove boxing header
You can see the early rounds of the boxing in Wythenshawe and go on to watch the finals at the MEN Arena.

Boxing is one of only 3 all-male events in the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

The first recorded organised fighting events date back 6,000 years to the time of the Egyptians.

Boxing is one of the few sports that has featured in every single Commonwealth Games since they began in 1930.
 
       
  image of a cycling helmet cycling header
There are 3 different kinds of cycling in the Commonwealth Games:
• Track cycling
• Road cycling
• Mountain biking


The road cycling and mountain biking will be held at Rivington, while the track cycling will be held at the state-of-the-art Velodrome at Sportcity.

Mountain biking is a first for the Manchester 2002 Games.
 
       
  image of a gymnastics horse gymnastics header
Gymnastics was one of the fastest selling events when tickets went on sale in October 2001.

It’s one of the oldest sports on record, dating back to ancient Greece.

British gymnasts are now performing better than ever and have a real chance of winning medals in Manchester.
 
       
  image of a hockey stick hockey header
Hockey is the oldest ball and stick game in the world. It’s over 4,000 years old!

Australia won both the men’s and women’s finals in the last Commonwealth Games held in Kuala Lumpur. Their women’s team beat England 8-1!

Did you know the hockey ball used to be cube shaped?

This is only the second time hockey has been played in the Commonwealth Games.
 
       
  image of a judo mat judo header
Judo last featured in the Commonwealth Games in 1990 when England won 14 of the 16 gold medals!

A judo bout lasts only 5 minutes.

Judo contestants will always bow to each other as a sign of respect before beginning.

Judo contestants aren’t allowed to punch each other or bend each other’s fingers back!
 
       
  image of a bowl and jack lawn bowls header
The most famous bowling game ever took place in 1558, when Sir Francis Drake refused to stop play for the Spanish attack on England!

Bowling is played in 40 countries.

11 of William Shakespeare’s plays mention the sport!

Bowling is another of the sports where elite athletes with a disability will compete.
 
       
  image of a netball netball header
Netball is the only all-female sport in the Commonwealth Games.

England have only ever beaten Australia once in their history.

10 countries will take part in the netball competition to be held at the MEN Arena.

England player Tracey Neville has two famous brothers: England and Manchester United footballers Gary and Phil Neville!
 
       
  image of a rugby ball rugby header
Rugby Sevens is a quicker, shorter version of the game played with 7 men on each side.

A ticket to the Rugby Sevens includes admission to several games, not just one, because a game only lasts 14 minutes.

The Rugby Sevens final will be the final event of the Commonwealth Games, finishing just hours before the closing ceremony begins.
 
       
  image of a target shooting header
The shooting events will be held at the special National Shooting Centre in Bisley, Surrey.

There are 3 different kinds of shooting at the Commonwealth Games:
• Clays
• Open rifle
• Small bore/air pistol.
 
       
  image of a squash ball squash header
A brand new building has been built at Sportcity to host the squash competition.

The first game of squash was played in a jail in 19th century London, when prisoners began hitting a ball against a wall because they were bored!

Squash was one of the most popular sports at the last Commonwealth Games.

Over 20 million people worldwide play squash.
 
       
  image of a table tennis bat table tennis
Over 180 countries play table tennis, making it one of the most popular sports in the world!

This is the first time table tennis has appeared at the Commonwealth Games.

Table tennis is one of the fastest ball sports on the planet.

The rules have recently been changed to make it more exciting for spectators.
 
       
  the number three triathlon header
Triathlon is made up of 3 parts: swimming, cycling and running.

Manchester 2002 will be the first time triathlon has featured in the Commonwealth Games.

Triathlon is a relatively new sport but is rapidly growing in popularity.
 
       
  image of a weight weightlifting header
There are more than 10,000 weightlifters in the world.

Surprisingly, weightlifting is one of the Queen’s favourite sports!

There are 2 different ways to lift the weights: the snatch and the clean and jerk.
 
       
  image of a wrestling boot wrestling header
Wrestling at the Commonwealth Games is nothing like the staged performances you see on TV – it’s really tough stuff!

Two competitors wrestle each other on a square mat until one wins by pinning his opponent’s shoulders to the floor for just 1 second.
 
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