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The 2006 Commonwealth Games were held in Melbournemarker, Victoriamarker, Australia between 15 March and 26 March 2006. It was the largest sporting event to be staged in Melbourne, eclipsing the 1956 Summer Olympics in terms of the number of teams competing, athletes competing, and events being held.

The site for the opening and closing ceremonies was the Melbourne Cricket Groundmarker which was also used during Melbourne's 1956 Olympic Games.

The mascot for the games was Karak, a Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (a threatened species).

For the first time ever, the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games appointed a Goodwill Partner, Plan International Australia.


The 2006 Commonwealth Games included 16 sports, with 12 individual sports and 4 team sports. In total there are 247 events at the Games.

Four of these sports are further broken down into separate disciplines, making a total of 24 disciplines:
  • Aquatics: diving, swimming, synchronised swimming.
  • Cycling: track, road, mountain bike.
  • Gymnastics: artistic, rhythmic.
  • Shooting: clay target, pistol, small bore and air rifle, full bore rifle.

The athletics, swimming, table tennis and weightlifting sports include fully integrated events for elite athletes with a disability (EAD). These events are included in the official medal tally.

Participating nations

Countries and places competing at the games
were 71 countries, territories and bodies competing at the 2006 Commonwealth Games [26775]. The only difference between the countries competing at these games from the 2002 games is the absence of Zimbabwemarker, which has now withdrawn from the Commonwealth of Nations. In alphabetical order, the countries were:

Medals table

1 84 69 68 221
2 36 40 34 110
3 26 29 31 86
4 22 17 11 50
5 12 13 13 38
6 11 7 11 29
7 10 4 8 22
8 7 12 10 29
9 6 12 13 31
10 6 5 7 18
11 5 6 7 18
12 4 6 7 17
13 3 5 11 19
14 3 1 2 6
15 2 0 1 3
2 0 1 3
17 1 3 1 5
18 1 1 0 2
19 1 0 1 2
1 0 1 2
1 0 1 2
22 1 0 0 1
23 0 3 0 3
24 0 2 0 2
0 2 0 2
26 0 1 2 3
27 0 1 1 2
0 1 1 2
0 1 1 2
30 0 1 0 1
0 1 0 1
0 1 0 1
33 0 0 3 3
34 0 0 2 2
35 0 0 1 1
0 0 1 1
0 0 1 1
0 0 1 1
0 0 1 1
245 244 254 743


   ●    Opening ceremony    ●    Event competitions    ●    Event finals    ●    Closing ceremony
March 15th
Gymnastics ●●●●● ●●●●● ●● ●●●●
Lawn Bowls
Rugby 7s
Synchronised Swimming
Table tennis
March 15th


Opening Ceremony - 15 March

Both the Melbourne Cricket Groundmarker and the Yarra Rivermarker were centrepieces for the ceremony, which included many fireworks, and other spectacle. The Games were opened by Queen Elizabeth II, in her capacity as Head of the Commonwealth. The Queen is also Head of State of a number of Commonwealth countries, including Australia.

Day 1 - 16 March

Cycling: England managed a clean sweep of the 4,000 m individual pursuit gold medal on the cycle track. Paul Manning beat fellow team mate Rob Hayles in the final. Steve Cummings won the bronze medal race. Australian Ben Kersten manages to beat the World and Olympic champions in the 1 km time trial.
Swimming: Scotland's Caitlin McClatchey beat Australia's Libby Lenton in the Women's 200 m freestyle final, setting a new Games record of 1:57.25. England's Melanie Marshall came in third. David Carry of Scotland has won the 400 m freestyle final, winning the second swimming gold for his country. Canadian Andrew Hurd picked up the silver in 3:49.08 and David Davies from Wales came third. Moss Burmester from New Zealand won gold in the 200 m butterfly in a new New Zealand and Commonwealth record time of 1:56.64.
Weightlifting: The Games' first gold medal was awarded in the Women’s Weightlifting (48 kg class) to Kunjarani Devi Nameirakpam from Indiamarker. Marilou Dozois-Prevost from Canadamarker won the silver, and Erika Yamasaki of Australia picked up the bronze.

Day 2 - 17 March

Cycling: Australians Katherine Bates and Rochelle Gilmore get gold and silver respectively in the Women’s 25 km Points Race, repeating their Manchester Games results. Their teammate Alexis Rhodes took ninth place after being seriously injured in Germany in an accident that took the life of Amy Gillett, in whose honour all three dedicated their ride.
Rugby Sevens: New Zealand won the gold medal at the Telstra Domemarker with a convincing 29-21 win over England. Fiji win the bronze medal with a 24-17 win over Australia in a game marred by a serious injury to Australian player Scott Fava.
Swimming: Australia gets all three medals in both the women's 50 m butterfly and women's 50 m breaststroke.

Day 3 - 18 March

Swimming: Australia swept gold, silver, and bronze in both the women's 50 m breaststroke and the 50 m butterfly. Leisel Jones and Danni Miatke, respectively, won the golds.
Triathlon: Day 3 saw the Australians and New Zealanders completely dominate the triathlon event. After missing out on qualification for the 2004 Athens Olympics, Emma Snowsill took the gold medal with a time of 1:58:02.59. New Zealand secured silver (Samantha Warriner), bronze (Andrea Hewitt) and fourth place for the Women's event. Continuing Australia's dominance in the triathlon, Brad Kahlefeldt won gold in the men's triathlon event with a time of 1:49:16. Australian Peter Robertson was just beaten by New Zealander, Bevan Docherty for silver, while Robertson took the bronze.
Cycling: Australian cyclist Ryan Bayley won the men's sprint, his second gold medal for these Games.
Weightlifting: Australian weightlifter Ben Turner won the men's 69kg Division, the first Australian gold medal for weightlifting at the games.

Day 4 - 19 March

Athletics: Australian Kerryn McCann successfully defends her 2002 Commonwealth Games gold medal title by winning the women's marathon event with a time of 2:30:50.
Athletics: Tanzania retained the men's marathon title, Samson Ramadhani taking the gold. Kenya's Fred Mogaka took silver, and England's Dan Robinson took the bronze.
Cycling: The Isle of Manmarker won their first Commonwealth gold in twenty years, when Mark Cavendish won the men's Scratch Race final. Cavendish held off Australia's Ashley Hutchinson on the final bend to triumph, with Scotland's James McCallum claiming bronze.
Swimming: World champion Jessicah Schipper of Australia swam a Games record in beating team-mate Libby Lenton for the women's 100 m butterfly gold.

Day 5 - 20 March

Athletics: Australian Craig Mottram and crowd favourite, is edged out by Augustine Choge in the men's 5000 m by 2 seconds. Choge won in a Games-record time of 12 min 56.41 s. At one stage during the race Mottram ran with 3 Kenyan racers in front of him and 3 Tanzanian racers behind him.
Athletics: Asafa Powell, world record holder, wins the men's 100 m sprint in a time of 10.03 seconds, ahead of Nigeria's Soji Fasuba and the Trinidadian Marc Burns. His Jamaican compatriot, Sheri-Ann Brooks won the women's 100 m in a personal best time of 11.19 s, ahead of South Africa's Geraldine Pillay and Delphine Antangana, of Cameroon.
Squash: The Grinham sisters (Australia) battled for the Gold medal. Natalie triumphed over Rachel 2-9 9-6 9-1 9-6. Peter Nicol won his third Commonwealth Games gold medal. He previously won the singles title in 1998, and the doubles in 2002. He recaptured the singles title in four games, defeating Australia's David Palmer 9-5 10-8 4-9 9-2.
Swimming: Scotland won two more gold medals in the pool, with Caitlin McClatchey and Gregor Tait each winning their second titles in the 400 m freestyle and 200 m individual medley respectively. Australia's Leisel Jones set the first world record of the swimming competition, breaking her own record in the 100 m breaststroke with a time of 1:05.09.

Day 6 - 21 March

Swimming: The Australian women's swimming team again asserted their dominance in the pool, breaking the 4 x 100 m medley relay world record in a time of 3:56.30, over a second faster than that set by the Australian women's swimming team in the 2004 Athens Olympics. The Australian women completed one of the most successful campaigns in games' history, finishing with 16 gold medals, just 3 short of the entire meet's offerings. The Australian men's swimming team finishes on a successful note, winning the 4 x 100 m medley relay. This was one of their least successful games meets with 3 gold medals.
Athletics: The Kenyan women finish with Lucy Wangui (31:29.66) and Evelyne Nganga (31:30.86) gold and silver respectively in the 10,000 m run. Wangui overtook Nganga in the final straight, after Nganga attempted to break away. Mara Yamauchi of England was third.
Athletics: Dean Macey of England overcame injury to win his first major title in the men's Decathlon. Maurice Smith of Jamaica took silver and Australian Jason Dudley earned bronze.

Day 7 - 22 March

Athletics: New Zealander Valerie Vili won gold in the women's shot put, setting a new Commonwealth Games record of 19.66 metres.

Day 8 - 23 March

Australian Jana Pittman delighted the home crowd by retaining her 400 m hurdles title with Britons Natasha Danvers-Smith (Englandmarker) and Lee McConnell (Scotlandmarker) picking up silver and bronze.

Jamaica won gold and silver in the women's 200 m with Sherone Simpson finishing ahead of Veronica Campbell and South African Geraldine Pillay in third.

England's Liam Killeen led an England one-two in the men's mountain bike cross country race. The 23-year-old eased home in two hours 13.11 minutes, ahead of team-mate Oli Beckingsale.

Canada's Marie-Hélène Prémont took gold in the Women's mountain bike cross country race at 1:55:04, despite having to dodge a kangaroo on the course. New Zealand's Rosara Joseph finished second and Canada's Kiara Biasro finished third.

Indiamarker's Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore won gold medal in Men's Double Trap.

Day 9 - 24 March

Athletics: Australian Nathan Deakes won the men's 50 km walk in a time of 3:42:53, beating the previous record set by him at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games by over 10 minutes. New Zealander Tony Sargisson took a silver medal in 3:58:05 while Australia's Christopher Erickson took the bronze in 3:58:22.
Basketball: The Australian men's team beat New Zealand 81-76 to win the first gold medal in this sport at the Commonwealth Games. The English men's team beat Nigeria 80-57 to take the bronze.

Day 10 - 25 March

Aquatics: Canadian Blythe Hartley won the Women's 3 m Springboard final with 690.05 points. Australians Chantelle Newbery and Kathryn Blackshaw took silver and bronze repectively.

Australian Matthew Helm won the Men's 10 m Platform with 1085.60 points. Silver went to England's Peter Waterfield with 1030.50 points and bronze went to Canadian Alexandre Despatie with 1016.95 points.

Athletics: England's Nicholas Nieland won the Men's Javelin with a season best throw of 80.10 m. Australians William Hamlyn Harris and Oliver Dziubak both threw 79.89 m with William Hamlyn Harris securing silver on a countback throw of 79.48 on his final throw. Oliver Dziubak took bronze on his countback throw of 78.43.

Nick Willis, gold medallist in the 1500 metres in a time of 3:38.49 mins, became the first athlete from New Zealandmarker to win a track medal for twenty-four years.

Boxing: England dominated the boxing finals day, with Don Broadhurst, Frankie Gavin, Jamie Cox, James Russan, David Price, and Stephen Smith winning gold medals and Darran Langley winning silver.

Scotland's Kenny Anderson won the Light Heavyweight gold after defeating his opponent, Adura Olalehin, 23-19 after fighting back from 7-13 down after two rounds. During the fight, Olalehin had four points, the same as the margin of victory, awarded against himself for repeatedly holding Anderson.

Day 11 - Closing Ceremony - 26 March

Gymnastics: Canadian Alexandra Orlando completed the rhythmic gymnastics competition having won six gold medals - a gold in every rhythmic gymnastics event - to become the fourth competitor to win six gold medals at a single Commonwealth Games.

Cycling: Australians Natalie Bates and Matthew Hayman win the women's and men's road races respectively.

Hockey: In the men’s final, the host nation beat Pakistan 3-0, after leading 1-0 before the break. In the bronze medal play-off, England lost to Malaysia 2-0.

Netball: New Zealand defeats Australia 60-55 in the gold medal match, to become the first country other than Australia to win Commonwealth Games gold in the sport.

Closing Ceremony: Both the Melbourne Cricket Groundmarker and the Yarra Rivermarker were again centrepieces for the ceremony. Samresh Jung of Indiamarker was given the David Dixon Award at the closing ceremony. He was the "Best Athlete of the 18th Commonwealth Games". The games were closed by HRH Prince Edward.


The following venues were used at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. The sport(s) which were played at that venue is listed after it.

Melbourne venues

A panoramic view of the interior of Telstra Dome
venue for Rugby 7s
Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre - Outdoor Swimming Pool

Regional and suburban venues

Ballaratmarker: Ballarat Minerdome: Basketball
Bendigomarker: Bendigo Stadium: Basketball
Wellsford Rifle Range: Full Bore Shooting
Geelongmarker: Geelong Arenamarker: Basketball
Lysterfield Park: State Mountain Bike Course: Mountain Bike Cycling
Traralgonmarker: Traralgon Sports Stadium: Basketball

Impact on host nation

Early concerns arose about the large cost of staging the Games, with projected costs likely to be over 1 billion Australian dollars and a high likelihood the Victorian taxpayer would have to cover the expense. The cost was described in some local media as excessive. National Party leader Peter Ryan said that the Labor government should win "gold (medal) for burning money" [26776] However, not all of this money was wasted. Prior to the Games, accountants at KPMG were estimating that the gross income generated by this event could be as high as 1.5 billion dollars.

Melbourne's premier sporting ground, the Melbourne Cricket Groundmarker (MCG), was redeveloped in preparation for the Games. An athlete's village in the inner suburb of Parkvillemarker housed approximately 7,000 athletes and support staff during the Games, and has been transformed into commercial housing with a distinctly eco-friendly image. The creation of this village attracted controversy, with critics claiming it was created by alienating public parkland, while proponents maintained that it represented the renewal of an otherwise derelict inner-city area.

The change from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time in Australian states that follow it was delayed from 26 March to 2 April for 2006 to avoid affecting the games. In addition, state and private schools amended their usual term times so as to allow the first term end-of-term holidays to coincide with the Games.

Melbourne's public transport system - train, tram and bus - ran to altered timetables with some amended or substituted services for the duration of the Games. For the most part, timetabled services were unchanged but suffered due to higher loads.


Missing athletes

On 20 March 2006 it was reported that two athletes had gone missing from the Commonwealth Games village: Tanzanian boxer Omari Idd Kimweri and Bangladeshimarker runner Mohammad Tawhidul Islam.

On 22 March 2006 it was reported that seven athletes from Sierra Leonemarker (three women and four men) had also disappeared. A further seven Sierra Leonean athletes also went missing during the course of the Games, bringing the total runaway count to fourteen (two thirds of the team). Victoria Policemarker believed that they had fled to Sydney where the Sierra Leonean community is much larger than Melbourne's.

Two hours before the Closing Ceremony on 26 March, officials from the Cameroonmarker team reported to police that nine of their members had also vanished.

These incidents were not without precedent: 27 athletes similarly disappeared from the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchestermarker, Englandmarker (21 from Sierra Leone, 5 from Bangladesh and one from Pakistanmarker), and over 80 athletes and officials overstayed their visas after the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydneymarker.

On request of Sierra Leone officials, the Commonwealth Games Federation cancelled those athletes' Games accreditation, allowing the Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA) to cancel their visas at midnight on 27 March, and begin investigating their disappearance.

At 7.20am on that day, New South Wales Police located six of the Sierra Leonean athletes in a house at Freshwatermarker near Manly Beachmarker in Sydneymarker. All six indicated they wished to seek political asylum in Australia, and were granted bridging visas by DIMA while their refugee applications were arranged. The athletes claimed to have been subjected to violence and torture in their home country; seventeen-year-old Isha Conteh stated she could be forced into female genital cutting if she returned. On Tuesday 28 March, six further Sierra Leoneans turned themselves in to immigration authorities in Sydney and were also granted bridging visas.

Two of the missing Cameroon athletes were found in Perth, Western Australiamarker.


  1. M2006 > Karak the Mascot > Display
  2. Plan Australia
  3. Battlelines drawn as Parkville site chosen
  5. Public Transport
  6. ABC

External links

Official websites

Other sites

Political opposition to the Games

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