2022 Commonwealth Games comes to an end

The closing ceremony took place at Birmingham's Alexander Stadium this morning with performances from artists including UB40, Apache Indian, Beverley Knight, Dexys Midnight Runners, Goldie, Jacob Banks, Jaykae and Jorja Smith.

The ceremony also included a tradtional handover of the Commonwealth Games flag to Australia which will is set to host the next Games in 2026.

After a record-breaking Games of both individual and team success, New Zealand cyclist Aaron Gate took on the roleas the country's flagbearer.

The silver, the secret, and a baby named Birmingham: The emotional journey of Samoan weightlifter Nevo

The 34-year-old was carrying a sporting secret he wasn't sure when or where to reveal.

But even then, something much bigger was on his mind.

On top of the secret he would later reveal to his coach and teammates, his wife was pregnant and would give birth any day.

She had no support back home in Apia.

Nevo had spent his last days on Samoan ground finding a babysitter to look after their three young children for when the newborn would arrive.

The thought of his wife needing him while he was on the other side of the world was nearly too much to bear.

Team Samoa settling well in Birmingham

Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee President Pauga Talalelei Pauga said, “Thanks to God for everything. Team Samoa has settled in well after having to go through Covid-19 testing and accreditation.’

“While in a foreign country, Team Samoa continues to give praise to the Lord through their evening devotionals.”

Pauga added that the Samoan athletes are now in training while they wait for the official opening of the Commonwealth Games tomorrow. (Samoa Time). 

1,000 personnel to represent the Armed Forces at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022

Hundreds of Armed Forces personnel will be deployed to Birmingham to support the West Midlands Police Security Operation, the biggest the region has seen.

An opening ceremony on Thursday 28 July will mark the start of the Commonwealth Games, featuring many of the Armed Forces personnel who are in Birmingham for ceremonial duties, civil engagement or competing as athletes.

The Band of HM Royal Marines will provide a fanfare of trumpeters during the ceremony.

Duran Duran and Black Sabbath to open Commonwealth Games

The 80s pop group will perform on the same bill as fellow local musician Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Singer Simon Le Bon said he was "honoured" to play the homecoming gig.

Peaky Blinders director Steven Knight will executive produce the event, which will be broadcast live on the BBC.

Duran Duran formed in Birmingham in 1978 and went on to become leading figures of the new romantic scene with hits like Hungry Like the Wolf, Girls on Film and Rio.