It was expected. Camouflaged by the swimmers, but expected. Australia has been toppled from the top of Medals table trailing England by a mighty eight gold medals at the end of the 8th day at Commonwealth Games. Sadly though, this may well be the first time they are going to finish second since Edinburg, 1986.
57 medals at the pool, a record breaking job, undermined the fact that the Australian swimmers have won three less than their tally of gold medals in the 2010 Commonwealth Games at Delhi. Australia has been thwarted by some off the field controversies. The Hollingsworth's suspension, Francois Etoundi's head butt and Zac Alexander's replacement at the 11th hour did not portray the discipline, the Aussies are best known for.
It all began blistering and roaring. The cyclists paddled, the swimmers swum and the medals tally grew. Not an exponential rise, but it seemed the Australian had it covered. The Day 7 and 8 of the Games saw an unimpressive showing by Australia as they were able to grab only two golds in as many days. Horrid times for the Aussies. This is how the headlines change in sports.
The pattern has remained the same for years. Australia would dominate the pool and track events and would throw England out of the Games in less than 7 days of the competition. Take Delhi, 2010 as an example. Australia had 55 golds and a total of 116 medals after the 6th day of the Delhi Olympics. England were 31 behind and all set to be placed second, again. Times have changed, England have kept the Aussies in check and are going to hit back, like they always do, towards the end of the end of the tournament.
With Gymnastic, squash and Boxing favored as the happy hunting grounds for the Englishmen, Australia would need to stun the world and do something unaccepted in order to clear this margin. Chef de mission Steve Moneghetti said, "It's not about medal winning."
Whoever stands at the top of the medals table, there seems no doubt that after a long time we are seeing a battle for the top spot and Australia needs to worry about their 24 year streak ending at Glasgow, 2014.