Commonwealth Games 2022 opening ceremony LIVE: Latest updates as Birmingham welcomes athletes from 72 nations to the Alexander Stadium for the start of 12-day sporting bonanza
Follow Sportsmail‘s live coverage of the opening ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The ceremony begins at 8pm BST.
😍 The wait is almost over.
We finally get to hear Her Majesty’s Commonwealth Games message at tonight’s opening ceremony following it’s 90,000 mile journey around the Commonwealth.
Don’t miss it!#CommonwealthGames #B2022
The London Olympics’ opening ceremony was well received and highly praised around the world, but the theatre director Iqbal Khan who created Birmingham’s show believes he has created an event just as entertaining.
‘I don’t feel in the shadow of the Olympics at all. I feel like we have a comparable and massively entertaining, moving, challenging show to share with the world,’ he said.
‘The Olympics was extraordinary for this country, but we refuse to be overwhelmed by that. We take that as inspiration.’
All the athletes are busy preparing for the Games, with Adam Peaty (below) hoping to add to the three gold medals he has earned across the last two editions.
Team England’s cyclists have also been training at the Lee Valley VeloPark, watched on by Sir Jason Kenny who is part of the coaching staff.
Max Whitlock is Britain’s most decorated gymnast, and four of his gold medals have come at the Commonwealth Games.
With medals earned across the last three contests, he knows a thing or two about what it takes to become a Commonwealth hero – but he misses out this time around due to a break after his work in Tokyo a year ago.
For Sportsmail, he’s selected five of the best British athletes, across multiple disciplines, to keep an eye on in Birmingham over the next two weeks – including someone he’s trained with, and someone who shares a similar story of representation at Olympic and Commonwealth Games level.
As the host nation, Team England will be the last country to walk out at the ‘Parade of Nations’ at tonight’s ceremony. The first will be Australia, after the last Games were held in the Gold Coast in 2018.
The Aussies topped the medal table four years ago, winning 198 in total – 80 of which were gold. England finished second with 45 golds (136 in total), ahead of India in third with 26 golds (66 in total).
Wales (10 golds) finished seventh, Scotland (nine golds) were in eighth and Northern Ireland (one gold) placed 20th.
Two and a half hours of entertainment awaits this evening as the Games officially get under way.
Steven Knight, creator of Birmingham-based drama Peaky Blinders, is the executive producer of the opening ceremony.
Creative masterminds including artistic director Iqbal Khan and musical director Joshua ‘RTKal’ Holness are also among those involved.
The headliners are the iconic Duran Duran, who were formed in Birmingham over 40 years ago.
Birmingham-born Tony Iommi, the guitarist and co-founder of heavy metal band Black Sabbath will also be taking to the stage, along with local rising stars Indigo Marshall and Gambimi.
It wouldn’t be an opening ceremony without a choir. More than 700 people from 15 musical groups from across the West Midlands will be performing.
Finally, the national anthem will be sung by Birmingham Conservatoire graduate Samantha Oxborough.
Want to get clued up on the Games before it all begins? Sportsmail has you sorted.
Have a read of our handy guide which features all the sports you can watch, a full schedule of events and the venues being used.
Welcome to Sportsmail‘s live coverage of the 2022 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony!
We’ll be bringing you updates throughout the afternoon and in to the evening as we gear up for the main event at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham at 8pm.
72 nations from across the Commonwealth are descending on the Midlands city for 12 days of sporting drama, ecstasy and agony. We can’t wait.
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