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  Wednesday, 27 November, 2002, 17:28 GMT
Commonwealth Games
Ian Thoirpe with his medals - six gold and one silver
Thorpe shows off his Manchester medal haul
Britain staged its biggest ever multi-sports event - and the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester were voted a rousing success.

Hosts England enjoyed a golden finale to the athletics, and there was further success in the pool and elsewhere.

But despite plenty to cheer for the home nations, it was an Australian who stole the show.

Swimmer Ian Thorpe was the undoubted star of the Games as he picked up six gold medals and a silver.

Compatriot Matt Welsh foiled the magnificent seven, as he forced Thorpe into second in the 100m backstroke.

Meanwhile, Petria Thomas picked up five swimming titles as Australia comfortably topped the medals table ahead of England and India.

The pool also showcased a remarkable star in South Africa's one-legged swimmer Natalie du Toit.

She was voted outstanding athlete of the Games after breaking the 50m and 100m freestyle world records for the disabled, and reaching the 800m open final.

Hers was a fitting award at an event where disabled sports were embraced and counted towards the overall medal table for the first time.

One of India's golds came via a controversial late winner in the women's gold medal hockey match.

The English side took defeat gracefully despite initially lodging a protest after losing to a disputed golden goal.

Umpires first ruled out the strike as the hooter sounded, but after complaints from Indian players and officials, the decision was overturned.

There was no doubting English success on the track, however, with Paula Radcliffe and Jonathan Edwards leading the gold run.

Radcliffe finally won her first major title by claiming the 5,000m.

And triple jumper Edwards completed his set of gold medals with a huge leap of 17.86 metres to see off a challenge from team-mate Phillips Idowu.

But there was disappointment on the home front in the blue riband event, the men's 100m.

English favourites Dwain Chambers and Mark Lewis-Francis both pulled up with injuries as Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis blasted to victory in the final.

Collins later gave a positive drugs test, but was allowed to keep his title as the banned substance, salbutamol, was contained in medication he was using to treat asthma.

It was a rare glimpse of controversy at an event which demonstrated that Britain could be worthy hosts of a major international sports event.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
IOC chief Jacques Rogge
"This is what sport is all about"
Paula Radcliffe
"The crowd were absolutely amazing"
Australia's Ian Thorpe
"I came here to enjoy myself"
In-depth look back at a wonderful year of sport

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See also:

04 Aug 02 | Features
01 Aug 02 | Features
01 Aug 02 | Features
04 Aug 02 | Swimming
04 Aug 02 | Swimming
04 Aug 02 | Swimming
03 Aug 02 | Hockey
04 Aug 02 | Sports Talk
Links to more Sports Reviews stories are at the foot of the page.


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