THE Australian Commonwealth Games Association today welcomed the announcement that for the first time in history at a multi-sport games, there would be an equal number of medals available for men and women.
The addition of seven women’s events and categories across weightlifting, boxing and cycling to the program for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, means for the first time there will be 50/50 parity in medals
to be won by men and women, a first in Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games history.
The announcement was confirmed at the Commonwealth Games Federation General Assembly currently being held in Edmonton, and supported by a local announcement in Brisbane this morning by the Honourable Minister for the Commonwealth Games Stirling Hinchliffe, alongside Australian athletes including diver Georgia Sheehan.
Australian Commonwealth Games Association CEO Craig Phillips said the ACGA was pleased to have played a leading role in the decision.
“This is a really important decision for the Australian team as we head towards Gold Coast 2018, and one that our President Sam Coffa has been particularly influential in making a reality,” Phillips said. “It is our ambition to assemble the most inclusive Australian team possible for Gold Coast 2018, a team that is absolutely representative of all of Australia.”
“As part of that, it is important that there is as many medals on offer for our Australian women as there is for our Australian men.”
“Further to the medal equity announcement, it was very pleasing to hear the CGF reaffirm its commitment to increasing female participation at the Commonwealth Games, something we will continue to work on as a Commonwealth Games Association,” Phillips said.
At the very first Commonwealth Games in Hamilton in 1930, women competed in just seven medal events in Aquatics (Diving) and Aquatics (Swimming), accounting for 12 percent of the total medal events. The last edition of the Games in Glasgow in 2014 created the highest percentage of medal events for women (48.5%) of any major Games in history at the time. By comparison, women were able to compete in 46 per cent of the medal events at the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games and 47 per cent at Melbourne 2006.
Prior to today’s announcement, there were 268 medal events on the GC2018 sports program, with a difference of seven medal events between men and women; resulting in a comparison of 51.3% to 48.7% (137.5 medal events to 130.5).