It has been 18 years since the curtain was raised in Melbourne for the 2006 Commonwealth Games, where Team England shone Down Under.

It proved the launchpad for some of the country’s finest-ever athletes, as well as providing plenty of other moments that live long in the memory for those at the Games. 

With the Games now nearly two decades in the distance, here are eight of the best memories from Melbourne.

Christine Ohuruogu - athletics

Christine Ohuruogu would go on to become world and Olympic 400m champion, but it all started with Commonwealth gold.

The British record holder was just 21 when she settled into her blocks in Melbourne and knew she had to beat reigning Olympic champion Tonique Williams-Darling for gold.

Ohuruogu had already beaten the Bahamian in their semi-final and repeated the trick when it mattered with a personal best time of 50.28 seconds for a stunning victory.

It proved the perfect platform for Ohuruogu. She would add world and Olympic golds to her collection over the next two years.

Dean Macey - athletics

Dean Macey was once on the books of Arsenal as a young footballer, but ultimately ended up following his decathlon dream.

‘The Dean Machine’, as he was known, ensured there would be a golden lining to that dream with a glorious performance in Melbourne.

Macey narrowly missed out on an Olympic medal in Athens two years prior with a heart-wrenching fourth-place finish but made sure there would be no need for fine margins this time as he powered to victory with 8143 points.

The then 28-year-old assumed the lead after the third event with a personal best in the shot put and then never let it go.

Mark Shipman and Tony Ally - diving

In the pool, there was a superb silver for Mark Shipman and Tony Ally as synchronised diving events made their Commonwealth debut. 

Ally already had three Commonwealth medals to his name, after 3m springboard bronze in Kuala Lumpur and a pair of silvers in both the 1m and 3m springboard, carrying Team England’s flag at the 2006 opening ceremony.

He followed that up with a fourth and final medal to his collection alongside Shipman, who earned his first and only Commonwealth medal as the pair teamed up in the 3m springboard synchro.

Peter Nicol - squash

One gold is memorable enough but Peter Nicol took home two from Melbourne 2006.

The first Brit ever to become squash world No.1 added another two medals to his Commonwealth collection Down Under, successfully defending his doubles title from Manchester 2002 with Lee Beachill and regaining his singles title for a second gold of the Games.

Doubles glory was sealed with a superb comeback victory over Australia’s David Palmer and Dan Jenson in the final, recovering from losing the opening game before roaring back with three of their own unanswered.

That came after Nicol had won back the singles gold he first earned in Kuala Lumpur but missed out on in Manchester, thanks to a superb four-game victory over top seed Palmer in the final.

Ross Davenport - swimming

Another man with two golds in his carry-on was Ross Davenport, who even added more weight with an extra silver too.

The swimmer powered to 200m freestyle gold, leading an English one-two ahead of Simon Burnett.

Davenport then grabbed another gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay, with Burnett this time a teammate as they joined up with Alexander Scotcher and Dean Milwain for gold ahead of rivals Scotland and Australia.

And a third medal came in the 4x100m medley relay, as Davenport anchored the team home to silver.

Tracey Hallam - badminton

Melbourne 2006 was a Games to remember for English badminton, as five medals came from the court.

Two of them were gold, with Tracey Hallam winning women’s singles gold while Nathan Robertson and Gail Emms won the mixed doubles.

Hallam upgraded from silver in 2002 and became the first English women’s singles winner since Fiona Smith in 1990 in the process.

It would be Hallam’s third and final Commonwealth gold, after winning women’s team gold in Kuala Lumpur and mixed team gold in Manchester.

It was also her second of the 2006 Games alongside mixed team silver as Hallam retired with six Commonwealth medals in total.

Victoria Pendleton - track cycling

The first chapter of Victoria Pendleton's era-defining rivalry with Anna Meares was written at Melbourne 2006.

To the delight of media, the pair shared nearly a decade of tussles in the velodrome, culminating at London 2012 but beginning in the state of Victoria.

Pendleton already world gold to her name when she arrived in Melbourne, but confirmed herself as one of the very best on two wheels with sprint gold.

Pendleton beat out home favourite Meares in her own backyard, setting a Games record time of 11.275 in her seeding time trial before getting past her arch nemesis in the final.

Meares would gain some form of revenge, as podium placings were reversed in the women’s 500m time trial but gold in Melbourne would set Pendleton up for a swathe of future success including sprint Olympic gold in Beijing two years later.


After the heartbreak of fourth-place at a home Games in Manchester, England’s netballers returned to the podium with an impressive bronze in Melbourne.

Defeat to Jamaica in Manchester was something Margaret Caldow’s side were determined not to experience again, and they did so in dramatic fashion with a 53-52 victory over the Sunshine Girls Down Under.

It looked unlikely when they went 18-10 down in the first quarter, but launched a comeback to steal bronze at the death.

It would prove the starting point for future success, with 2018 gold medallists Ama Agbeze, Jade Clarke and Geva Mentor all part of the squad.