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Commonwealth Games 2002
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Athletics Thursday, 1 August, 2002, 00:28 GMT 01:28 UK
The best Britain has seen

Well - I'm still catching my breath after that final night.

This Commonwealth Games has been wonderful from start to finish, way out-stripping our wildest expectations.

I honestly don't think I'll ever see something like that again in this country.

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I'm just jealous I never had the chance to compete in a championship like it
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Steve Cram
And the final night of competition was, if possible, even better than Super Sunday when Paula Radcliffe and Jonathan Edwards won their golds.

I almost don't know where to start. England won six golds, and from the off the night had something special about it.

The relays always provide drama to close a championships.

But no-one could have written a script which saw home-town boy Darren Campbell sprinting down the home straight to take gold for England in the 4x100m by less than a hundredth of a second.

To see the look on Darren's face, after everything he's been through, was nothing short of delightful.

The 4x400m was almost as good. What a run from Matt Elias to almost nick the gold for Wales.

Where Ashia Hansen found that winning jump from in the very last round of the triple jump I'll never know.

Then there was Steve Backley, putting a miserable three months behind him and booming that massive first throw out to win another Commonwealth title.

That's without looking at the English success in one of my old events, the 1500.

We thought Kelly Holmes would win. But that doesn't lessen the nature of her achievement or how pleased I am to see her do it.

I have to confess that I thought Anthony Whiteman would be more of a danger in the men's race than Michael East.

Michael East
East was a surprise 1500m winner
But I'm happy to be wrong in this case - Michael's kick was better than Tony's and his gold was deserved.

As for the long-term effect of what we have seen, I'm not totally convinced that British athletics has changed forever.

Yes, kids will have been inspired by what they've seen, but that won't translate directly into huge queues at the door of every athletics club around the country.

Up to now we have struggled to get 12,000 people into domestic meets. Sure, the quality isn't as high as it has been here, but we need to learn the lessons of what happened in Manchester.

The presentation was great, the crowd incredible and the atmosphere unbelievable.

I'm just jealous I never had the chance to compete in a championship like it.


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