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Commonwealth Games 2022: all you need to know about the multi-sport event

Collage of sporting events from Commonwealth Games
(Image credit: Birmingham 2022/Commonwealth Sport)

The Commonwealth Games officially get underway on Thursday, July 28.

This long-running event will see over 5000 athletes from 72 nations and territories heading to Birmingham to take part in the 22nd edition of the Commonwealth Games. 

Those athletes will be competing in 19 different sports from basketball to badminton, including the largest-ever program of women's and para-sports in the Games’ history across 11 jam-packed days.

In total, 1875 medals are up for grabs across the 283 medal events that comprise the Games this year, including more medal events for women than men for the first time ever this time around. There also won't be a separate medals table for para sports, as they have been fully integrated into the Commonwealth Games for the very first time in the event's history. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

When are the Commonwealth Games 2022 and where are they?

The Commonwealth Games officially begin on Thursday 28 July, with the Opening Ceremony running all the way until the Closing Ceremony on Monday 8 August.

The sporting action kicks off in Birmingham, UK on Friday 29 July with the very first event being the sedate sport of Lawn Bowls/Para Lawn Bowls.

This is the third time the games have been held in England, and the first time they've been held in Birmingham. England last hosted the Commonwealth Games twenty years ago, the Manchester Games in 2002.

Commonwealth Games schedule

What's the schedule for the Commonwealth Games?

Full details of the Games timetable can be found on the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games website (opens in new tab). The bumper schedule will see events throughout the day with the evening session running to around 10 pm local time. All events in the schedule are shown in local (UK) time.

Commonwealth Games daily highlights

Thursday, July 28

The Games get underway with the Opening Ceremony (starting at 7 pm local time / 2 pm ET).

Friday, July 29

The first medals of the Games will be won in Triathlon and Para Triathlon, Track and Para Track Cycling, Artistic Gymnastics and Swimming and Para Swimming. It’s a busy day at Lee Valley VeloPark, with finals in Women's Tandem B - Sprint, Men's Tandem B - 1000m Time Trial, Women's 4000m Team Pursuit, Men's Individual (Sprint Distance), Women's Individual (Sprint Distance) Women's Tandem B - Sprint, Men's 4000m Team Pursuit, Women's Team Sprint and Men's Team Sprint 

Saturday, July 30 

There’s an early start for the Marathon runners, and the first Weightlifting medals will be won. In cycling, there are finals in the Women's 3000m Individual Pursuit, Men's 4000m Individual Pursuit, Women's Sprint and Men's Keirin.

Sunday, July 31 

It's a big day in the pool, with superstar swimmer Adam Peaty going for gold in the 100m breaststroke final. There are also finals in Women's 50m Freestyle, Men's 200m Butterfly, Women's 200m Breaststroke, Women's 100m Backstroke and Women's 4x200m Freestyle Relay. 

The rugby sevens mens’ and women’s medal games will be played at Coventry Stadium and, in the  Gymnastics, it’s the Men's Individual All-Around Final.

In the T20, India and Pakistan will renew their fierce rivalry on the cricket pitch. There’s the Triathlon Mixed Relay Team Final and, in Men’s Hockey, there’s a home nations clash as England takes on Wales. 

The cycling action continues with finals in Men's Tandem B Sprint, Women's Tandem B - 1000m Time Trial, Women's 25km Points Race, Women's 500m Time Trial, Men's Sprint and Men's 15km Scratch Race.

Monday, August 1

In artistic gymnastics, there are finals in Men's Floor Exercise, Women's Vault, Men's Pommel Horse, Women's Uneven Bars, and Men's Rings. In the VeloPark, there are finals in Men's 1000m Time Trial, Women's 10km Scratch Race, Women's Keirin and Men's 40km Points Race Final.

In Men’s Hockey, England plays India.  And in the pool, there are finals in Men's 100m Freestyle, Women's 200m Backstroke, Women's 200m Individual Medley, Men's 50m Backstroke, Women's 50m Butterfly and Men's 4x200m Freestyle Relay.

Tuesday, August 2

The track and field events get underway, with finals in Women's Pole Vault, Men's 10,000m and Women's Discus. In the pool there are finals in Women's 100m Freestyle, Men's 100m Butterfly, Women's 100m Breaststroke, Men's 200m Backstroke, Women's 200m Butterfly, Men's 50m Breaststroke, Women's 800m Freestyle and Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay.

Wednesday, August 3

Medals are up for grabs Men’s and women’s cross country in the Mountain Bike, women’s and men’s squash and judo. In athletics, there are finals in Men's High Jump, Women's 10000m, Women's Shot Put, Men's and Women’s 100m, and in the Women's Heptathlon, it’s the javelin and 800m rounds.

In the pool, there are finals in Men's 50m Freestyle, Women's 50m Backstroke, Men's 1500m Freestyle, Men's 200m Individual Medley, Women's 400m Freestyle, and Women's and men’s 4x100m Medley Relay. 

Thursday, August 4

It’s the women’s and mens’ cycling Time Trial in Wolverhampton. In Women’s Hockey, its England vs Wales, while the host nation also faces New Zealand in the cricket T20. 

In the diving, it’s the Men's 1m Springboard Final and Women's 10m Platform Final. And in track and field, it’s the men’s long jump, discus and 110m hurdles finals. England’s netball team, who won gold four years ago, take on New Zealand.

Friday, August 5

Diving medals will be decided in the Men's Synchronised 3m Springboard, Women's 1m Springboard, and Men's Synchronised 10m Platform. And in track field, there are finals in the Women's 3000m Steeplechase, Men's Shot Put and Women's Triple Jump. 

Saturday, August 6

All eyes are on the athletics with finals in Women's High Jump, Men's 3000m Steeplechase, Men's 1500m, Men's Pole Vault, Women's 400m Hurdles, Women's 800m, Men's 5000m, Men's 400m Hurdles and Women's and Men’s 200m. 

Sunday, August 7

The cycling road race takes place in Warwick, and the T20 Gold medal match will be played at Edgbaston. The last two diving medals will be decided in Men's 10m Platform and Women's 3m Springboard. 

The track and field programme comes to a close with finals in Men's Triple Jump, Women's 100m Hurdles, Men's and Women’s 400m, Women's Long Jump, Women's 1500m, Men's 800m and Women's 5000m. 

And the final four events on the track will be the finals of the Men’s Women's and Men’s 4 x 100m and 4x400m Relays 

Monday, August 8

The competition wraps up with the Badminton finals, Gold and Bronze Medal Table Tennis and Para Table Tennis and the Men's Hockey final. And of course, we've got the closing ceremony to look forward to as well.

Who to watch at the Commonwealth Games

Adam Peaty (England)

Adam Peaty exits the pool at the British Swimming Championships in April 2022.

Adam Peaty at the 2022 British Swimming Championships. (Image credit: Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Events: 50m, 100m, 4x100m medley relay

Although he missed the recent World Championships owing to a foot injury and may still be a doubt, Peaty will be looking to continue his dominant streak in Birmingham. His recent successes include two golds at the British Swimming Championships in 2022 and his remarkable three medals (and a world record!) at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.

Geraint Thomas (Wales)

Geraint Thomas rides past a crowd during the 2022 Tour de France

Geraint Thomas during the 2022 Tour de France. (Image credit: Alex Broadway/Getty Images)

Events: Cycling, Road Race and Time Trial

Double gold medalist and Tour de France veteran Thomas topped the podium in Glasgow 2014 in the road race, and picked up a bronze for the time trial, but missed the Gold Coast Games in 2018. He has three gold and two silver World Championship medals in the Team Pursuit. 

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica)

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Image credit: Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Events: 100m

Eight-time Olympic medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce just claimed her fifth World Athletics Championships Gold Medal in Oregon for the 100m, setting a new Championship Record in the process (10.67 seconds) and leading the way for a clean sweep alongside fellow Jamaican teammates Shericka Jackson and Elaine Thompson-Herah. Could we see another clean sweep on the cards in Birmingham?

Dina Asher-Smith (England)

Profile shot of Dina Asher-Smith at the 2022 World Athletics Championships.

Dina Asher-Smith after running in the women's 100m sprint semi-final. (Image credit: Hannah Peters/Getty Images for World Athletics)

Events: 100m, 200m, 4x100m relay

A medal prospect in the 100m and 200m, Asher-Smith picked up a bronze in the 200m four years ago in Gold Coast 2018, finishing ahead of Thompson-Herah. 

She was also part of a 4x100m relay that set a world-beating time at May’s Diamond League meeting in Birmingham and should feature in the relay team if fit.

Andre de Grasse (Canada)

Andre de Grasse at the 2022 World Athletics Championships

Andre de Grasse competing at the World Athletics Championships. (Image credit: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Events: 100m, 200m, 4x100m

With no American sprint talent to run against, the Canadian will be hoping for a sprint double despite not being at his best this season. He won gold in the 200m at the Tokyo Olympics, also picking up a silver medal with the men’s 4x100 relay team after Team GB were stripped of their medals. Team England’s relay team could push Canada close. 

Kyron McMaster (British Virgin Islands)

Kyron McMaster celebrates the 400m hurdles win at 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Kyron McMaster will be hoping to defend his Commonwealth title. (Image credit: SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Events: 400 m hurdles

Kyron made history at the last Commonwealth Games when he became the first athlete from the British Virgin Islands to win a Commonwealth Games medal after taking Gold in the men's 400 m hurdles back in 2018. 

McMaster narrowly missed out on a medal at Tokyo 2020 and he decided to withdraw from the World Athletics Championships semi-finals due to injury; hopefully, he'll be able to recover in time to defend his Commonwealth title.

David Weir (England)

David Weir during the London 2012 celebration parade

David Weir with his four Paralympic Golds during the London 2012 Olympic parade. (Image credit: Dan Kitwood/AFP/GettyImages)

Events: T54 1500m

David Weir is one of the headline stars of England's Para line-up for the Commonwealth Games, and its easy to see why. He claimed Gold at the 2014 Games for 1500m T54, he won a total of six gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games and he's won the London Marathon on eight separate occasions.

Hannah Cockcroft (England)

Hannah Cockcroft celebrates a win at the women's 800m (T33) final during the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Decorated Paralympian Hannah Cockcroft is making her Commonwealth Debut this year. (Image credit: KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)

Events: T33/34 100m

Cockroft is one of England's most successful Para athletes of the 21st Century, and she will be making her Commonwealth Games debut when she competes in the T34 100m on Tuesday, August 2. 

The 29-year-old won golds in the T34 100m and 800m at the Tokyo Paralympics and won the 400m at May’s Diamond League meeting in Birmingham. 

Laura Muir (Scotland)

Laura Muir celebrates her 1500m win at the UK Athletics Championships in June 2022.

Laura Muir at the Muller UK Athletics Championships. (Image credit: Dan Mullan/ Getty Images)

Events: 1500m

The 1500m runner struggled to recover her form early in the season following an injury but has run a couple of fast 800m races and won a British title at UK Athletics Championships in June. She claimed a Bronze medal in the World Championships, but the runners who claimed Gold and Silver (Kenya's Faith Kipyegon and Ethiopia's Gudaf Tsegay, respectively) are also expected to make an appearance at the Games too, so there could be a fierce rematch on the cards.  

Muir competed in the Glasgow 2014 Games but skipped the 2018 Games on the Gold Coast to focus on her studies. 

How to watch the Commonwealth Games 2022

How to watch the Commonwealth Games 2022 in the UK

In total, BBC Sport will be broadcasting more than 200 hours from the Commonwealth Games this year, with coverage being split across BBC One, BBC Two BBC Three, BBC iPlayer (opens in new tab), the BBC Sport website and BBC Red Button services. 

How to watch the Commonwealth Games 2022 in the US

At the time of writing, it's not clear where the Commonwealth Games will air in the UK. CBS and NBC are two likeliest candidates, especially since NBC has the exclusive broadcast rights for the World Athletics Championships

Sports at the Commonwealth Games

Para sports at the Commonwealth Games

The Birmingham 2022 Games is making history with a fully-integrated Para program that includes: Para athletics (comprised of 8 different events), Para cycling, Para powerlifting, Para swimming, Para table tennis, Para triathlon and wheelchair basketball 3x3, as well as Para lawn bowls.

New sports at the Commonwealth Games

Along with the eight para sports that have been integrated into the proceedings, there are two additional events joining the initial programme.

T20 cricket is making its debut at the Birmingham Commonwealth games this year. The very first T20 International was played by women, and this will be the first time both the T20 format and women’s cricket have appeared at the Commonwealth games. 

Para table tennis is also set to make an appearance for the first time, and will be integrated into the regular table tennis programme. Table tennis first appeared on the Commonwealth Games list in Manchester in 2002, and has proven popular ever since.

All the sports at the Commonwealth Games

A total of 19 sports will be played across the 11 days of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. 

This includes Athletics, which contains 59 medal events including everything from the 100 m sprint and marathon to field events such as pole vault, long jump, javelin and shot put plus decathlon and heptathlon multi-events. There are also 8 Para Athletics events spread across track and field and 7 other Para sports set to take place, too.

Below you can find a full list of every sport set to take place in Birmingham for the 2022 Commonwealth Games:

  • Athletics and Para Athletics 
  • Badminton 
  • Basketball 3x3 
  • Beach Volleyball
  • Boxing
  • Cricket (T20)
  • Cycling - Mountain Biking
  • Cycling - Road Race
  • Cycling - Time Trial
  • Cycling - Track and Para Track
  • Diving
  • Gymnastics - Artistic
  • Gymnastics - Rhythmic
  • Hockey
  • Judo
  • Lawn Bowls and Para Lawn Bowls
  • Netball
  • Para Powerlifting
  • Rugby Sevens
  • Squash
  • Swimming and Para Swimming
  • Table Tennis and Para Table Tennis
  • Triathlon and Para Triathlon
  • Weightlifting 
  • Wheelchair Basketball 3x3
  • Wrestling 

Countries at the Commonwealth Games 2022

This year's Games in Birmingham are expected to have 72 teams (made up of 54 countries and 18 territories). The full list of every team attending the Commonwealth Games is available on the Olympics website (opens in new tab).

Martin Shore
Martin Shore

Martin is a Staff Writer with WhatToWatch.com, where he produces a variety of articles focused on the latest and greatest films and TV shows. 

Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.

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