Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.

England success spotlights women's sports at Comm Games

A week after the Lionesses became the pride of England for winning the Women’s European Championship, their compatriots in field hockey are hoping for their own historic moment in Birmingham

  • Updated
  • 0

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — A week after the Lionesses became the pride of England for winning soccer's Women's European Championship, their compatriots in field hockey are hoping for their own historic moment in Birmingham.

England has claimed a women's hockey medal in the six previous Commonwealth Games but gold has proven elusive. A thrilling victory over New Zealand in the semifinals on Friday has given the English another chance to end the drought.

They will face four-time champion Australia in Sunday’s final. The hosts have lost both previous times they played Australia in the title match.

England's success is a bonus for Commonwealth officials who have placed an emphasis on highlighting women’s sport, with a priority on three major team finals to be staged on Sunday.

Branded Super Sunday by organizers, gold medals from the women’s cricket, field hockey and netball finals will all be decided on the penultimate day of the competition.

It comes a week after England defeated Germany 2-1 at Wembley last Sunday in a soccer final that drew a crowd of 87,192, the largest attendance for a European Championship decider for either sex.

Ticket sales for women’s sports in Birmingham have also been strong.

Organizers reported more than 160,000 tickets have been sold for the cricket at Edgbaston Stadium alone, making it the biggest drawing women’s tournament in history.

England is a live medal chance in all three events and former netball captain Ama Agbeze is hopeful the run of success will draw more girls and women to sport.

A member of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Board, Agbeze led England to a gold medal in Australia four years ago and is delighted by the prominence given to women’s sport throughout the 12-day competition.

“The Women’s Euro was an incredible competition and the Commonwealth Games is just piggybacking off that success and atmosphere and just continuing on with it,” she said.

“It was great foresight of the organizers of the Games to put women’s Super Sunday on with all those sports and it was great the women’s football team won, because they have basically played into the whole narrative of increasing the profile of women’s sports."

England’s hockey team has done its part — the hosts edged defending champion New Zealand 2-0 in a penalty shootout. Both teams were held goalless in regular play but Hannah Martin scored England’s second goal in the shootout from four attempts.

In the other semifinal, Australia beat India 3-0 in the shootout after the teams finished regulation play 1-1.

Rebecca Greiner scored in the 10th minute to give Australia the lead but against the flow in the 49th minute, India equalized when Vandana Katariya deflected a shot into the net from close range — the first goal the Australians had conceded in the tournament

The shootout began in controversy with Australia’s Rosie Malone taking the first shot and missing. But Malone was given a second attempt because the eight-second countdown clock on the scoreboard wasn’t working.

Malone converted her second attempt and her teammates Kaitlin Nobbs and Amy Lawton also scored to send Australia to the final.

“When they called the retake, I was thanking the universe for a second chance,” Malone said. “I knew all of India would hate me if I put it in. But all our other girls got our shootouts in so it’s not like that one shootout was the be all and end all.”

England’s netballers will play Australia in a semifinal on Saturday, and the nation’s cricketers face India for a spot in the decider. Australia plays New Zealand in the other women's cricket semifinal, also on Saturday.

In other highlights on Friday, India enjoyed success in wrestling when Deepak Punia, Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik all claimed gold medals.

Malik, who won the women’s 62-kilogram class, said the support provided by the strong Indian community who live in Birmingham helped her succeed.

She edged Canadian Ana Godinez Gonzalez in the final.

“It was amazing to have a crowd presence of this kind,” she said. “At the Tokyo Olympics, there weren’t many Indians … so for a wrestler, it’s amazing to have that presence.

“And then to be trailing at one point and to come back, the crowd played a huge part in getting me to where I wanted to be, which was right on top of the podium.”

George Miller became the oldest Commonwealth Games gold medalist when, at the age of 75, he acted as the director for visually impaired Scottish bowler Melanie Inness. His grandchildren watched from the stands as Miller assisted the para-mixed bowls combination to a 16-9 victory over Wales in the final.

“Bowls is quite easy for older people but any sport, (be it) walking, football, rugby, you name it, get out there (and) exercise. Play games," he said. "Competing is brilliant, whatever age you are.”

The overall gold medal race tightened when leaders Australia added a number of minor medals on Day 8 but failed to win a gold.

Australia has 50 golds and 140 medals in total, while England now sits just three gold medals behind Australia (47 gold, 131 overall) with three competition days remaining.

More AP sports: and

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Tyler Reddick closed the best month of his NASCAR career with a victory in overtime on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He broke through for his first career victory on July 3 with a win at Road America in Wisconsin and announced nine days later he was leaving Richard Childress Racing in 2024 to drive for Michael Jordan's team. His second win in five races made Reddick the first Childress driver since Kevin Harvick in 2013 to win multiple races in a season.  Austin Cindric finished second in a Ford for track owner Roger Penske and was followed by fellow rookies Harrison Burton and Todd Gilliland, who both had career-best finishes.

Two-time NASCAR champion Kyle Busch and his family safely escaped the Mall of America in suburban Minneapolis after someone fired shots. Bloomington police say no one was injured. Police were still searching for a suspect after securing the scene shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday. A video posted on Twitter shows Busch’s walking away from the chaos while holding hands with his son, Brexton. Kyle Busch is scheduled to race in the No. 18 Toyota on Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. The 2015 and 2019 series champion has won 60 career Cup races.

Kurt Busch will miss his third consecutive race with concussion-like symptoms when he sits out Sunday at Michigan International Speedway. Busch was injured after crashing in qualifying on July 23 at Pocono Raceway. Ty Gibbs will replace him in the Toyota for 23XI Racing for his third drive in the No. 45. Gibbs finished 17th at Pocono and Indianapolis, but Michigan will be his first traditional oval in a Cup car. Busch has a waiver to hold his spot in NASCAR’s playoff field should he qualify. Headed into Sunday’s race at Michigan he does have a spot based on his May victory at Kansas.

Natasha Howard had 23 points and 12 rebounds to help the New York Liberty beat the Phoenix Mercury 89-69. Rebecca Allen added 17 points and Crystal Dangerfield also had a season-high 17 for the Liberty. New York is in the mix for one of the final playoff spots with seven games remaining. Sabrina Ionescu had 10 points, 16 assists and eight rebounds for New York. Phoenix got 21 points from Sophie Cunningham. Skylar Diggins-Smith and Diana Taurasi were a combined 8 for 30 from the field. Diggins-Smith had 11 assists.

Bryan Reynolds hit a solo homer to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning, powering the Pittsburgh Pirates to an 8-7 win over the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers. Facing a 2-0 count, Reynolds sent a fastball from Devin Williams (2-1) 425 feet to right-center field for a lead-off blast. Reynolds’ 16th homer of the season and first walk-off in the majors ended a drought of 15 games since he hit three against the Washington Nationals on June 26.. Wil Crowe (4-6) struck out one without allowing a hit in the final 1 1/3 innings for Pittsburgh. Willy Adames had four RBIs for the Brewers, his final two coming on a two-out single in the eighth that cut into a three-run deficit. Rowdy Tellez then sent an RBI single down the right-field line, tying it at 7.

Juan Soto has arrived at Petco Park promising to bring “good vibes” to the San Diego Padres and issuing a warning to opposing teams. The acquisition of the 23-year-old generational talent in perhaps the biggest deadline deal ever energized the Padres and their long-suffering fans, and there’s more to come. Soto and Josh Bell joined a lineup currently anchored by All-Star slugger Manny Machado. Star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. could return from a broken left wrist within a few weeks. Soto says that when that full lineup hits the field, "It's going to be really tough to go through and I wish good luck to all the pitchers.”

Some of Europe’s best soccer players from the under-17 teams of Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Bologna and other international clubs have taken part in the Walther Bensemann Memorial Tournament in Nuremberg. Soccer wasn't the most important part of the tournament. Players also learned the dangers of intolerance by meeting Holocaust survivors, attending workshops and taking part in excursions. Holocaust survivor Shaul Paul Ladany tells The Associated Press that if he was able "to penetrate their brains, then I then I believe I was successful.”

Looking to replicate the deals that helped carry them to a World Series title in 2021, the Atlanta Braves have pulled of a flurry of trades ahead of the deadline. They finalized a deal that brought starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi from the Houston Astros in exchange for former closer Will Smith. Then, barely beating the deadline, the Braves landed Angels closer Raisel Iglesias for reliever Jesse Chavez and youngster Tucker Davidson. The Braves also acquired Detroit's Robbie Grossman to bolster the outfield. The Braves can only hope these trades work out as well as last year's deadline deals.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


Breaking News

News Alert