Live updates: Birmingham Commonwealth Games, July 29 - Opening ceremony, Kiwi Hayden Wilde shoots for triathlon gold

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11:50pm - That's all from Newshub's live coverage for now - please join us from 5am as we will once again provide play-by-play action with several Kiwis in the hunt for medals.


England pushing hard here! They claim second and push New Zealand out of the gold medal race, they'll have to fight for bronze.


Australia smash the Commonwealth Games record, pushing New Zealand to second. Just England to go now to see who joins the Aussies in the gold medal race.


 New Zealand goes half a second faster than Malaysia in the men's team sprint, which is the best time so far. Canada register the second-best.


New Zealand will race Canada for gold in the Women's Team Sprint tomorrow morning. 


New Zealand set a Commonwealth Games record in Women's Team Sprint qualifying, with Wales and Canada still to go.

11:05pm - SWIMMING

After all that triathlon buzz, we're now back to the swimming as Erika Fairweather and Eve Thomas feature in the Women 200m freestyle heats.


Wilde is forced to let Yee pass him and head into the penalty box and is forced to settle for second. What drama! But also what a run from the Kiwi. Silver for New Zealand!

10:52pm - TRIATHLON

Wilde passes Yee! What a turn of events. But will the penalty prove too much to overcome? And does he know?

10:50pm - TRIATHLON

Yee now holds the outright lead over Wilde after passing him on the run. He already holds a 10-second advantage because of the penalty. Can the Kiwi muster something?!

10:44pm - TRIATHLON

Yee has made HUGE ground and is in second place behind Wilde. Yee is only seven seconds behind, which means he would be the winner because of the penalty.

10:40pm - TRIATHLON

Some controvery here...Wilde has been penalised 10 seconds for unclipping his helmet incorrectly. Can he hold on??

10:39pm - TRIATHLON

We're now onto the run now with Wilde in the lead, and Reid in third. Wilde really in his stride now, and would take something huge to upstage him. 

10:34pm - TRIATHLON

Wilde leading the pack on the bike, with Reid in third. It is really interchangeable between the two and the South African.

10:30pm - RUGBY SEVENS

All Blacks Sevens have strolled to a 63-5 victory Sri Lanka. Both the men's and women's untroubled in their opening group games. 

10:26pm - SWIMMING

Dame Sophie Pascoe has qualified for the final of the Women's 100m freestyle S9 with the fastest time in the heats.

10:24pm - Wilde leading now, as the trio stretch their huge lead over the rest of the pack. Reid holding second place, with the South African third.

10:22pm - SWIMMING

Erika Fairweather will swim in the final of the Women's 200m Freestyle after claiming the fifth-fastest time in the heats.

10:20pm - RUGBY SEVENS 

All Blacks Sevens lead Sri Lanka 28-5 after an unlikely try to their opponents. But the Kiwis still hold a comfortable halftime lead.

10:18pm - TRIATHLON

5km done on the bike now, with South Africa's Riddle leading the pack, and Reid and Wilde in second and third respectively. 

10:16pm - RUGBY SEVENS

The All Blacks Sevens have kicked-off their campaign, and lead 14-0 over Sri Lanka in their opening group match.

10:10pm - TRIATHLON

Reid first out of the water, with Wilde in third, as the field now begins their bike rides. Great start for the Kiwis.

10:04pm - LAWN BOWLS

The New Zealand Triple have won 23-6 against India, whilst the men's para pair have been beaten by Australia 17-7 in round one.

Men's para pair Graham Skellern and Mark Noble were beaten 17-7 in round one against Australia, and Ali Forsyth, Mike Galloway and Andrew Kelly beat India 23-6 in the men's triples. 

10:01pm - SWIMMING

Rasmussen comes from behind to finish third in ther heat in the women's 400m individual heat. That sees her progress to the final.


New Zealand's quartet in the men's 4000m team pursuit are about to get underway, and they are riding against Wales.

9:57pm - SWIMMING

Mya Rasmussen now in the pool for the women's 400m individual medley heat. 

9:53pm - TRIATHLON

New Zealand's Hayden Wilde will begin his quest for gold shortly, with the men's individual triathlon to start around 10pm. He's a great chance for our first gold! Tayler Reid and Dylan McCullough are also amongst the field.


New Zealand women's will face Australia in the 4000m team pursuit final tomorrow morning for the gold medal. Great effort from the girls!

9:45pm - HOCKEY

Finally the hooter sounds as New Zealand record a 16-0 win over Kenya in a dominant display in their opening Group B match.


New Zealand's women are currently second in qualifying for the 4000m team pursuit, nearly four seconds behind Australia. But still quicker than England and Canada.

9:40pm - HOCKEY

Black Sticks women in again! They now lead 16-0 over Kenya with just under four minutes left to play. Been a brave effort from their opponents but simply outclassed.

9:37pm - LAWN BOWLS

Katelyn Inch has claimed a stunning comeback victory over Singapore's Shermeen Lim, winning 21-17.

The NZ triple are beating India 17-6 and the men's para pair of Graham Skellern and Mark Noble are losing 17-6 against Australia. 

9:35pm - HOCKEY

Black Sticks make it 15-0 against Kenya! Another penalty corner, another goal. Merry this time with the credit for the score.

9:33pm - LAWN BOWLS

New Zealand triple lead India 17-6 after 17 ends. Good little fight back by the Indians but the Kiwis still untroubled.

9:30pm - HOCKEY

Black Sticks in again! Now lead 14-0 after their fifth successful penalty corner. It may only be Kenya, but promising signs nonetheless.

9:26pm - HOCKEY

Back to hockey! The Black Sticks women are now up 13-0 against Kenya, with 12 minutes left to play in the fourth quarter.


Black Ferns score twice more, including one right on the hooter to clinch a comfortable 45-7 victory over Canada in their opening match. Woodman's injury will be a concern though.


Canada's success is short-lived as Brazier links up well to run in under the goal posts to extend New Zealand's lead to 31-7. Great play.


Canada go length of the field after showing great effort and support play, which allows a free run to the tryline. New Zealand still lead 24-7 with just over three minutes left.


Blyde slices through the Canadian defence and is in under the sticks for her second try! Showed great feet and strength. Black Ferns Sevens lead 24-0 now.

9:18pm - LAWN BOWLS

New Zealand triple extend their lead to 17-4 after 15 ends. All too easy for the Kiwis against India, with Forsyth playing a starring role.


Uh oh - Woodman has been helped off the field with what looks like an ankle injury. But New Zealand are in again to extend their lead to 17-0 at the break.


The women's 4000m team pursuit qualification about to begin with New Zealand up now.


Black Ferns Sevens in again! Blyde gets a good pass over the top and puts her head down before diving over for New Zealand's second in as many minutes.


Woodman opens the scoring for the Black Ferns Sevens, following a yellow card to Canada. She runs in untouched down the right wing to dot down for New Zealand.


The Black Ferns Sevens are just about to kick-off against Canada, as the defending champions open their account at Birmingham.

9:02pm - LAWN BOWLS

India doing their best to eat into New Zealand's huge lead, but can only pull back one, as the Kiwi triple still lead 15-4 after 13 ends.

8:55pm - LAWN BOWLS

The New Zealand triple extend their lead to 15-3 after a great strike from Forsyth. New Zealand having it all their way against India.

8:51pm - HOCKEY

And another for New Zealand! This is getting really out of control now as the Black Sticks now lead 9-0 after just two quarters.

8:50pm - HOCKEY

Make that eight for the Black Sticks! This time from the penalty corner. Kenya defence guilty of not getting low enough as New Zealand extend their lead by even more.

8:46pm - HOCKEY

Seventh heaven! New Zealand score two quick goals to increase their lead to 7-0..we're still in the second quarter here at Birmingham.

8:44pm - LAWN BOWLS

India working at reducing their huge deficit as they score one, but still trail New Zealand triple by 12-2 after 10 ends. 

8:42pm - HOCKEY

Black Sticks add injury to insult with another goal to extend their lead to 5-0, and we're still just in the second quarter.

8:36pm - LAWN BOWLS

Meanwhile, the New Zealand triple have extended their lead to 12-1 over India after nine ends. The Kiwis showing all their class, not letting their foes get back into the match.

8:34pm - HOCKEY

Oh no...a Kenyan defender is getting treatment after being hit in the face by an accidental reverse flick. Concerned faces within both camps. Nasty stuff.

8:26pm - HOCKEY

Make that 4-0 for the Black Sticks! Carrying on from their first quarter dominance into the second. Can't help but feel for Kenya, but great start from our girls in black!

8:24pm - HOCKEY

The first quarter ends with the Black Sticks women boasting a comfortable 3-0 lead over Kenya. New Zealand all over their opponents, forcing turnovers and immediately launching counters.


Should mention schedule start times are subject to change, and because of that, the artistic gymnastics won't start until 4:30am tomorrow morning.

8:20pm - LAWN BOWLS

Better effort from India here but New Zealand triple far too good, with another two to increase their lead to 10-1 after seven ends.

8:16pm - HOCKEY

The Black Sticks making light work of the Games debutants, and have raced to a 3-0 lead with two goals in as many minutes. Great start from the Kiwis.

8:12pm - LAWN BOWLS

India with a very unlucky shot there with the jack falling the wrong way. The New Zealand triple are up 8-1 after six ends.

8:09pm - HOCKEY

Black Sticks already on the board with a goal in just the opening minutes to give New Zealand an early 1-0 lead over Kenya.


Plenty of New Zealand artistic gymnasts now also in action, with the men's qualification underway, including Ethan Dick, Jorden O'Connell-Inns, Misha Koudinov, Sam Dick and William Fu-Allen.

8:05pm - HOCKEY

The Black Sticks women are underway against Kenya in their Group B match.

8:02pm - Elsewhere in Lawn Bowls action, Graham Skellern and Mark Noble are behind Australia's duo 3-2 in the para men's pairs. And Katelyn Inch is down 3-2 to Singapore's Shermeen Lim in the women's singles

7:58pm - India feeling the pressure now as a self-inflicted bowl hands New Zealand the 6-1 lead after end 4. Great start for the Kiwi triple.

7:50pm - Forsyth again with another great shot on the last of end 3 to give New Zealand the 2-1 lead. Great bowl under pressure there with India loaded.

7:44pm - India are on the board now and tie it 1-1 after the second end. Forsyth having discussions with his coach after that.

7:40pm - Quite enjoying the music that is being played during the lawn bowls competition. It's rather calming, as New Zealand look to surge ahead of India. 

7:36pm - LAWN BOWLS

Forsyth with a great shot, showing great form to put New Zealand up by one after the first end.

7:32pm - First up this evening is the lawn bowls with Ali Forsyth, Mike Galloway & Andrew Kelly v India in men's triples round 1. Tonight's full schedule can be found just below.

7:30pm - Ki ora, good evening and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the first day at the Commonwealth Games!


Tonight's schedule looks something like this...

Katelyn Inch v Shermeen Xin Yi (Singapore) - women's singles round 1

Mark Noble & Graham Skellern v Australia - para men's pairs round 1

Ali Forsyth, Mike Galloway & Andrew Kelly v India - men's triples round 1

Ali Forsyth, Mike Galloway & Andrew Kelly v Malta - men's triples round 2


Women's team pursuit qualification

Men's team pursuit qualification

Women's team sprint qualification

Men's team sprint qualification

NZ v Kenya - women's group match

NZ v Canada - women's pool A

NZ v Sri Lanka - men's pool A

Mya Rasmussen - women's 400m individual medley heat 1

Eve Thomas - women's 200m freestyle heat 3

Erika Fairweather - women's 200m freestyle heat 3

Tupou Neiufi - women's 100m freestyle S9 heat 1

Dame Sophie Pascoe - women's 100m freestyle S9 heat 2

Cameron Gray - men's 50m butterfly heat 6

Andrew Jeffcoat - men's 100m backstroke heat 5

Hazel Ouwehand - women's 100m butterfly heat 3

Helena Gasson - women's 100m butterfly heat 5

Dylan McCullough, Tayler Reid, Hayden Wilde - men's individual

9:32am - And that winds up the programme. Join us again later today, when competition begins, with our bowlers first up, a full night of swimming heats, sevens pool games and our first medal contender in triathlete Hayden Wilde.

9:19am - To wind things up comes a performance from local legends Duran Duran, the new romantic pioneers of the 1980s & 90s. Brace yourself, Simon Le Bon is now 63.

9:16am - The story of Stella and the 71 Dreamers comes to an end for now. Their message is "We are strong and more resilient together".

9:10am - The last baton carrier is Denise Lewis, two-time Games heptathlon champion. Prince Charles reads the message from his mother...

9:06am - Netball Geva Mentor, coach Mel Marshall and cricket umpire Sue Redfern read the Games oath, as the Queen's Baton enters the stadium.

9:04am - Birmingham celebrates becoming the first Games to award more medals to women than men. Women will contest team sports cricket and netball, which undoubtedly up the medal count.

8:58am - The ceremony is surely drawing to a close, with the arrival of the Commonwealth Games flag. Former Games cycling gold medallist Alison Shanks of NZ is one of the six flagbearers.

8:56am - England are STILL entering the stadium, with a team of 437 - the biggest, just ahead of Australia's 430.

8:50am - England are the last team to enter and naturally received the biggest cheer of the night, led by Olympic diving gold medallist Jack Laugher and weightlifter Emily Campbell.

8:43am - Only a handful of nations to come, with the British Isles bringing up the rear... Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and host England.

Scotland look resplendent in their specially designed kilts.

Cyclist Geraint Thomas, fresh from his third at the Tour de France, will carry the flag for Wales.

8:41am - European nations are next and one of the first is Isle of Man, with cycling legend Mark Cavendish one of the flagbearers. If the road race is a sprint finish, he will be tough to beat.

8:38am - Trinidad & Tobago are another team with a record of success at the Games, followed by Turks & Caicos Islands, the last of the Caribbean nations.

8:36am - Jamaica will be lead into the stadium by netballer Jhaniele Fowler, a player we know very well in New Zealand from her time in the trans-Tasman competition.

8:33am - Next up are the Caribbean nations, led by Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, and Barbados... 

8:30am - Only eight Asian nations, with Sri Lanka the last to enter, despite their current political and economic unrest.

8:26am - The Americas don't have many nations, only seven, with St Helena - the final resting place of Napolean Bonaparte - the last to enter.

Next are the nations from Asia, with Bangladesh, Brunei and India out in force.

8:21am - The Americas are the next region into the stadium, led by Bahamas, Belize and Bermuda, then Canada. We're now halfway through the Parade of Nations.

8:16am - South Africa arrive at a Games they were meant to host, before they dropped out in 2017, due to financial constraints.

Tanzania, The Gambia, Uganda and Zambia are the last African nations to enter.

8:13am - Mauritius also have three flagbearers, and the key here seems to be male, female and para athlete involvement. Nigeria follow suit, so maybe that's something NZ will do next time.

8:12am - Malawi arrive and we all remember their upset of the Silver Ferns at Gold Coast last time out. Hopefully, that doesn't happen again at Birmingham.

8:10am - Ghana, Kenya - who promise to dominate distance running again - and Lesotho.

8:08am - Best national costume so far is from Cameroon, one of the first African nations to enter. They follow Botswana and lead Eswatini, who were Swaziland at Gold Coast four years ago - one of their flagbearers is 14-year-old swimmer Hayley Hoy.

The Birmingham Bull enters Alexander Stadium.
The Birmingham Bull enters Alexander Stadium.

8:06am - Vanuatu seem to have outdone everyone with three flagbearers - judoka Joe Mahit, volleyballer Miller Pata and para-athlete Ellie Enock.

8:04am - Niue, Norfolk Island, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga... no sign of old, oiled-up mate Pita Taufatofua, who has made a habit of popping up at these events. The Tongan team have kept their shirts on this time.

8am - Nauru are here, with their 30 weightlifting medals.

And here are New Zealand to a big cheer, led by shot putter Tom Walsh and squash player Joelle King.

7:58am - Cook Islands are next, led by lawn bowlers Aidan Zittersteijn and Mooroa Mataio. Fiji are next, then Kiribati... NZ not far off.

7:54am - Entertainer Sir Lenny Henry prepares to welcome the Parade of Nations...

Last year's Tokyo Olympics ushered teams into the venue according to Japanese alphabetical order, which well and truly jumbled up the nations.

At Commonwealth Games, they celebrate the last hosts - in this case, Australia - and their Oceania region. Their flagbearers are hockey player Eddie Ockenden, chasing his fourth gold medal, and veteran squash player Rachel Grinham, who was world No.1 almost 20 years ago and will compete at 45.

7:52am - About 13,000 Games volunteers are celebrated, as some (presumably not all) of them enter the stadium. We're getting closer to the athletes' entry.

7:46am - Dancers celebrate the many cultures of Birmingham in a dance-off that threatens to spill over and The Bull is enraged. The 71 Dreamers soothe the beast, symbolising cultural tolerance.

7:41am - The ceremony pays homage to the women chainmakers that made the chains for slavetraders, an ugly aspect of Birmingham's past. This time, the chains lead a giant metal bull into the stadium, eventually throwing off the chains and calmed by Stella.

7:34am - Birmingham celebrates its part in the Industrial Revolution, as the 'Workshop of the World'.

Drag performer Ginny Lemon makes an appearance that adds a splash of colour.

Malala Yousafzai addresses the Birmingham opening ceremony
Malala Yousafzai addresses the Birmingham opening ceremony. Photo credit: Getty

7:27am - Guests are welcomed by Birmingham-based Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai, who won the Nobel Peace Prize at just 25.

Former Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi adds a musical interlude to the proceedings.

7:18am - Some of the city's most famous sons and daughters are celebrated, like actor Charlie Chaplin and wordsmith Samual Johnson. Birmingham is also known for its BMX community.

The Birmingham Public Library has the world's largest collection of Shakespeare's work. The library was destroyed by fire and the Games stadium is filled with smoke.

7:16am - The opening ceremony tells the story of Stella, a Kenyan immigrant now living in Birmingham, and the 71 Dreamers, representing the nations of the Commonwealth.

7:13am - Opera singer Samantha Oxborough sings God Save The Queen and she will remain at the Games, working as a security guard.

Prince Charles and Camilla arrive at the Birmingham opening ceremony
Prince Charles and Camilla arrive at the Birmingham opening ceremony. Photo credit: Getty

7:09am - Prince Charles and Camilla have arrived to represent the Royal Family in a classic car - one of his stable no doubt - keeping to Birmingham's proud history of automobile production.  The stadium infield is covered with similar cars, owned and driven by Birmingham locals.

7:07am - Queen Elizabeth, 96, will not attend this opening ceremony, as she winds down her public appearances, but her message to the Commonwealth will arrive soon, after the Queen's Baton Relay journey around her domain.

7:06am - Dozens of houses, presumably computer generated, hover over the stadium, paying homage to the time we've spent in COVID-19 isolation in recent years and the importance those dwellings now hold for us all.

Puppeteers at the Birmingham opening ceremony
Puppeteers at the Birmingham opening ceremony. Photo credit: Getty

7:03am - Surprisingly, these are just the third Games held in England, after London 1934 and Manchester 2002.

Birmingham prides itself as a multi-cultural city and the opening ceremony promises to embrace that belief.

7:01am - Here we go, the moment we've been waiting months for... the official start of the 22nd Commonwealth Games at Birmingham.

Nigerian drums call to gather...

5:39am - Bad news from the NZ team this morning, with triathlete Ainsley Thorpe out of tonight's individual race, after a positive COVID-19 test at the team's pre-Games camp in Spain.

Hockey players Joe Morrison (groin) and Simon Yorston (broken hand) have also suffered injuries in training, replaced by Jordan Cohen and Brad Read.


Kia ora, good morning and welcome to Newshub's live coverage of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games opening day, beginning with an official ceremony at Alexander Stadium.

Not all of New Zealand's 233-strong team will march, as they save themselves for the first day of competition later today, but shot putter Tom Walsh and squash ace Joelle King - both defending champions from Gold Coast 2018 - have drawn the honour of carrying the flag.

Opening ceremonies are often an awkward affair, with athletes most focussed on their upcoming competition, and host cities trying to out-pizzazz their predecessors with all the bells and whistles.

They tend to be more formal than closing ceremonies, where the athletes have completed their competitions and are in full celebration mode, often running amok during the speeches.

Later today, Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Hayden Wilde will try to climb the podium, as New Zealand's first real medal chance at Birmingham.

Swimming heats will include Paralympic stars Dame Sophie Pascoe and Tupou Neiufi, and Olympic finalist Erika Fairweather.

Cycling will see team pursuit qualifications, the men's triples become our first bowlers in action, while the Black Sticks women (hockey), and All Blacks and Black Ferns Sevens will all begin the defence of their Gold Coast gold medals. 

Friday, July 29
NZ Times

Opening ceremony

Katelyn Inch v Shermeen Xin Yi (Singapore) - women's singles round 1

Mark Noble & Graham Skellern v Australia - para men's pairs round 1

Ali Forsyth, Mike Galloway & Andrew Kelly v India - men's triples round 1

Ali Forsyth, Mike Galloway & Andrew Kelly v Malta - men's triples round 2

Women's team pursuit qualification

Men's team pursuit qualification

Women's team sprint qualification

Men's team sprint qualification

NZ v Kenya - women's group match

NZ v Canada - women's pool A

NZ v Sri Lanka - men's pool A

Temwa Chilese v Jules Snagg (St Vincent & Grenadines) - men's singles round of 64

Mya Rasmussen - women's 400m individual medley heat 1

Eve Thomas - women's 200m freestyle heat 3

Erika Fairweather - women's 200m freestyle heat 3

Tupou Neiufi - women's 100m freestyle S9 heat 1

Dame Sophie Pascoe - women's 100m freestyle S9 heat 2

Cameron Gray - men's 50m butterfly heat 6

Andrew Jeffcoat - men's 100m backstroke heat 5

Hazel Ouwehand - women's 100m butterfly heat 3

Helena Gasson - women's 100m butterfly heat 5

Dylan McCullough, Tayler Reid, Hayden Wilde - men's individual

Andrea Hansen, Nicole van der Kaay - women's individual

Join us from 6am Friday for live updates of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games