IMAGE || MICHAEL WILLSON
Compiled by David Tarbotton
Day two sees many more of Australia’s team sports open their campaigns. Men’s and women’s Basketball plus both of our Beach Volleyball combinations take to the sand at Coolangatta.
-Cycling medal prospects Stephanie Morton, Matt Glaetzer and Jordan Kerby
-Exciting beach volleyball duo Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy
-Basketball teams make their debut
-Many more medals in the swimming and cycling
-Cycling’s 100th gold medal in Commonwealth Games history (currently 99 have been won)
Australia will again take to the courts at Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre today in the team event, where they will challenge Uganda and Glasgow 2014 silver medallists England in Group C to secure a berth in the knockout stage to play for medals. The knockout stage will run from 7-9 April.
The Boomers will open their account at the Cairns Convention Centre against the fourth seed Canadians at 5:30 PM. Canada is making its Basketball debut at the Games, so the Aussies will be looking to get their campaign off on the right foot against their lowest-ranked pool opponent.
The Opals will have to wait until after the Boomers to take the floor, as the Aussie women take on Mozambique in Townsville at 9:00 PM. Like the Boomers, Cambage and the Aussies will be facing their lowest-ranked pool opponent and looking to get the ball rolling.
The long wait is over for Beach Volleyball to make its Commonwealth Games debut and what a location on the Coolangatta beachfront! The purpose built stadium looks magnificent and with sell-out crowds for every session, we are in for a real treat. Australia has two teams with both on show on day one. The number one ranked women of Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar have their first match at 3pm against little known Cyprus and while they are expect to cruise through their pool matches nothing can be taken for granted at a Commonwealth Games.
The Australian men of Chris McHugh and Damien Schumann are the last match of the day under lights at 9:30pm against Fiji and it’ll be a nervous wait for both sides to get their campaigns underway. Australia should win this one but Fiji have shown in recent times they will put up a fight and will no doubt see the Aussies as a big scalp to capture on day two, so lookout.
On day two of the Boxing program, two Aussies will compete in the round of 16. The Boxing captain and gold medallist of the 2015 Youth Commonwealth Games, Jack Bowen, is lined up against Northern Ireland’s Kurt Walker, while Terry Nickolas boxes against Thabiso Selby Dlamini of Swaziland.
Four gold medals are on offer on day two of the Track Cycling competition at the Anna Meares Velodrome in Brisbane.
- Glasgow 2014 silver medallist Annette Edmondson and reigning national champion Ashlee Ankudinoff will take to the Individual Pursuit, as will Games debutant Rebecca Wiasak.
- In the Sprint, Stephanie Morton will aim to defend her crown on the track named after her former teammate and legend of the sport Anna Meares, whom she defeated in the event four years ago in Glasgow.
- Matthew Glaetzer will be eager to defend his Keirin title, while Pat Constable and Jacob Schmid will also contest the men’s Keirin.
- National champion Samuel Welsford and Kelland O’Brien will take to the Individual Pursuit, with hometown fans set for a treat when Jordan Kerby also hits the track.
In the women’s Artistic Gymnastics the British (particularly the English) and more recently the Canadians are quite strong, but after a silver team medal in Glasgow, Australia are a medal hope.
The team eased into the rigours of intentional competition on day one, with four byes, but will hit their straps on day two with a full complement of 10 matches including Karen Murphy’s blockbuster clash against South Africa and two must-win sectional games for the men’s triples.
Australia’s second game of the Games is against the Barbados team – 11th ranked in the tournament.
Four Aussies are in action on day two of the Squash program, but disappointingly two of them, Donna Urquhart and Christine Nunn, will meet in the round of 16 singles. Ryan Cuskelly and Tamika Saxby will also compete in round of 16 matches.
Australia has great depth and seven to select from to defend their men’s 4x100m Freestyle title. Emma McKeon’s big competition program continues in the 100m Butterfly which is one of her strong events. Leading Paralympian, Ellie Cole, is a very decorated swimmer, but a Commonwealth title is missing from her collection. To rectify this, she will need to overcome English rankings leader Alice Tai in the S9 100m Backstroke. In the men’s S9 100m Freestyle, Australia are the defending gold-silver-bronze medallists. The 2018 lineup of Timothy Disken, Brenden Hall and Timothy Hodge could incredibly repeat this achievement on the Gold Coast. In the 100m Backstroke, Glasgow 2014 silver medallist, Mitch Larkin, will be aiming to go one step higher on the podium.
Women’s quarterfinals and men’s round of 16 to be drawn.
Geophysicist Tegan Napper will kick off the day’s action when she competes in the women’s 53kg class at 9:30 AM, which also features the Glasgow 2014 gold medallist from the 58kg division, India’s Sanjita Chanu. Brandon Wakeling will lift in the men’s 69kg division which kicks off at 2:00 PM, and with a top six rank in the Commonwealth, Wakeling will be looking to push into the top reaches of the table. 2017 CrossFit Games champion Tia Clair Toomey will turn her full attention to the women’s 58kg division at 6:30 PM.