Canada finishes 4th at Commonwealth

BOB MACKIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:09 PM ET

DELHI, India -- Canada fell short of its top three goal at the 19th Commonwealth Games and didn't match its tally of 86 medals from Melbourne 2006.

Also, previous host Australia won 44 fewer medals than it did four years ago.

That's mainly because of the Indian juggernaut. India won 101 medals overall at its best-ever Commonwealth performance. The 38 gold medals were one better than England, but 36 fewer than first-place Australia's 74.

Fourth-place Canada compiled 75 medals, including 26 gold, 17 silver and 32 bronze.

"We did anticipate that (number) would put us into third place, we did not anticipate our counterparts in India to do as well as they did," said Commonwealth Games Canada sport director Scott Stevenson. "We knew they'd do better than they did in Melbourne (2006), but we didn't anticipate them doubling their medal count.

"It really is a testament to the value of hosting a Games," Stevenson said.

Aquatics accounted for 12 of Canada's golds, including three by Laval, Que., diver Alexandre Despatie and two each by Victoria swimmer Ryan Cochrane and Mission, B.C., swimmer Brent Hayden. Canada also won seven athletics championships. Canada also made the podium in gymnastics, cycling weightlifting, archery and shooting.

But Canada had another weak Games in team sports, failing to qualify for Delhi medal rounds.

Canada's rugby sevens team finished 10th after losing the consolation bowl final 17-10 to Papua New Guinea on Tuesday. The men's field hockey team was seventh after beating Malaysia 3-2 on an extra-time goal by Jesse Watson of Vancouver. The women's field hockey team was sixth after losing 3-0 to India in a consolation round match.

"Certain sports are very deep and with one (gold) medal available it can be a real challenge," said Stevenson said.

Stevenson said there are many challenges for developing contenders in team sports, including big rosters, high travel expenses and complex logistics. Many national team athletes train or compete professionally outside Canada.

Canada's most-recent Olympic team sports medals were bronze in men's beach volleyball at Atlanta 1996 and silver in men's basketball at Berlin 1936.

Help is on the way. The Canadian Team Sports Coalition successfully lobbied for a funding boost. After the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, the federal government announced $6 million of the new $22 million new allotment for amateur sports was earmarked for team sports. The 19-member CTSC includes Field Hockey Canada and Rugby Canada and claims 24 million Canadians are involved in some way in team sports, versus 10 million participating in individual sports.

"Now the trick is for those sports to manage that money strategically and effectively to make sure the investments are well used," Stevenson said.

Top five medal winners at Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games

CountryGoldSilverBronzeTotal
Australia745548177
India382736101
England375946142
Canada26173275
South Africa12111033

Videos

Photos