The 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia will have an equal number of medal events for men and women in what is being seen as a major breakthrough for equality in sport.
The addition of seven women’s events and categories across the sports of weightlifting, boxing and cycling have been confirmed for Gold Coast in two years’ time.
It is thought to be the first time in the history of a major multi-sport games, that parity between the sexes has been achieved.
The announcement was made by GC2018 chairman Peter Beattie at the Commonwealth Games Federation’s Sports Summit in Edmonton, Alberta.
The seven events added to the programme take the total number of medal events at Gold Coast 2018 to a record-breaking 275.
Three new women’s track cycling events have been added in the form of the keirin, team sprint and team pursuit.
There are also three new women’s boxing medals up for grabs in the weight categories 45-48kg, 54-57kg and +75kg. The other new event is in weightlifting in the +90kg category.
Louise Martin, the Commonwealth Games Federation president, said:
“We’ve come a long way since the first Games in 1930, when women competed in just seven [12 per cent of] medal events. The last edition of the Games in Glasgow created the highest-ever percentage of medal events for women [48.5 per cent], placing true gender equality in medal opportunities at the Games within reach.
“This is a significant step towards the realisation of the Commonwealth Games Federation’s vision for gender equality. I’m so proud that the CGF, Gold Coast organising committee, the Australian Commonwealth Games Association and our International Federation colleagues have worked together to close the gender gap in time for Gold Coast 2018 – and present an equal number of medal moments for men and women for the first time ever at a major games.”