DAILY PREVIEW – SATURDAY 14TH APRIL

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IMAGE|| MICHAEL WILLSON

The last full day of the Games sees a number of the team sports reach their conclusion. It is the final day of track and field, while five boxers are competing in gold medal bouts. Australia will be in the hunt for medals in many sports including diving, shooting and squash. In table tennis, the host nation will be chasing their historic first gold medal in Commonwealth Games history.

 

ATHLETICS

The final track session of the athletics program switches to the afternoon slot. Australia will line up in three relays, the women’s 4x100m and 4x400m, and men’s 4x100m. Australia’s long distance women, Celia Sullohern, Madeline Hills and Eloise Wellings, who all ran so well in the 10,000m, double up in the 5000m. All three Australian’s, Ryan Gregson, Jordy Williamsz and Luke Mathews, successfully progressed through to the men’s 1500m final. In the field, Luke Cann, joins Glasgow bronze medallist Hamish Peacock, in the men’s javelin final.

BADMINTON

Australia’s women’s doubles team of Gronja Somerville and Setyana Mapasa are into the semi finals of the Commonwealth Games, keeping Australia’s chances alive of winning their first medal in the sport since Delhi 2010. If they win the semi final, they will play off for gold on the last day of competition on Sunday, but if they lose it will be a battle for bronze a few hours after the semi final defeat.

BOXING

The Australian boxing team will look to add five gold medals to the overall medal tally tomorrow, with the final bouts taking place.

First up will be Anja Stridsman boxing against England’s Paige Murney in the 60 kilogram division, followed by Harry Garside who will face Manish Kaushik from India in the 60kg final.

Olympian Jason Whateley will fight David Nyika in the 91kg bout, and in the featherweight category, Skye Nicholson will come up against Northern Island’s Michaela Walsh.

Caitlin Parker will round off Australia’s campaign with a hope win against Welshwoman Lauren Price.

 

BASKETBALL – WOMEN

Only a date with England at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre at 8:30 PM on Saturday night remains between our Australian women and the gold medal they covet.

The English knocked off Canada in a surprise end to the first semifinal, before Australia dismantled New Zealand by 59 points to round out the night.

England stunned the fifth-ranked side in the world with a 12-point victory over after losing to the Canadians by 26-points during the group stage.

Our Opals trounced England 118-55 last Monday so will head into the game an almost unbackable favourite.

Australia has lost only one quarter of basketball so far in the tournament, which came against Canada.

 

BASKETBALL – MEN

The Boomers begin knockout play against the surprise opponent of Scotland, who won through to the semifinals after defeating Nigeria by five points in the cross-pool qualifying games. Scotland usually competes together with England and Wales in FIBA tournaments as the Great Britain national basketball, and have gone unbeaten thus far in pool B including a win over England. The Scots are coached by Illawarra Hawks head-man Rob Beveridge and lost to Australia by a margin of 129-52 when they faced the Boomers at the Melbourne 2006 Games.

 

CYCLING – ROAD RACE

A host of Australia’s World Tour elite will make a mid-season return from Europe to don the green and gold for the GC2018 road race, including, Games debutant Callum Scotson, reigning national champion Alexander Edmondson and Mathew Hayman. The versatile six-member squad will also see Steele Von Hoff and Mitchell Docker make their Games debuts, while Cameron Meyer will be vying for a second GC2018 gold.

Fresh from her gold medal time trial performance, Katrin Garfoot will be a strong favourite in the women’s road race held in her backyard, while reigning road national champion Shannon Malseed and dual national road champion Gracie Elvin are also podium threats. Tiffany Cromwell, who finished millimetres off the podium in fourth in Glasgow 2014, plus 2010 Games bronze medallist Chloe Hosking – becomes just the third Australian female cyclist to contest three Commonwealth Games – and Sarah Roy will also provide the team with plenty of options throughout the race.

 

DIVING

Places third, fourth and fifth from the 2017 world championships line up in the women’s 3m springboard final. On the recent world championships form, Jennifer Abel (CAN) will be favourite ahead of Scotland’s Grace Reid and Australia’s Maddison Keeney.

The men’s 10m platform is a fairly open event. In the mix will be England’s Matthew Lee and the Aussie pair of Domonic Bedggood and Declan Stacey.

 

HOCKEY – WOMEN

The Hockeyroos will play for a fourth consecutive Commonwealth Games gold medal when they face trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre today.

The Hockeyroos have barely faced a battle in the group stage – their only bump in the road being against the fourth-ranked Kiwis when they drew 0-0 in a physical encounter.

In their semifinal against the highly fancied Indians, the fifth-ranked Roos squander numerous opportunities, clinching just a narrow 1-0 victory to advance to the gold medal match.

Expect fireworks at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre when the Hockeyroos and the New Zealand Black Sticks play for trans-Tasman bragging rights and Commonwealth gold at 12:45pm AEST on Saturday.

 

NETBALL

The Australian Diamonds have booked themselves a semi-final spot in an iconic Trans-Tasman battle tomorrow evening at Coomera Indoor Sports Centre at 5.02pm.

It will be the first time Australia and New Zealand, the world’s No.1 and 2 teams, have not met in the gold medal match since netball was introduced to the Commonwealth Games at Kuala Lumpur in 1998.

Despite losing to both England and Malawi, Diamonds mid courter Liz Watson said she expects the Silver Ferns to come out firing.

RUGBY SEVENS – WOMEN

Australia wrap up their pool play action as they take on Fiji at 7:21PM AEST to secure a semifinal berth. Co-captain Sharni Williams was helped from the field in their final game on Friday night against England and will be racing the clock to face Fiji. Thirteenth player Georgina Friedrichs would come into the side if Williams was to be ruled out. Australia cruised to back-to-back wins on Friday after making short work of Wales 34-5 before accounting for England 29-12. Another sell-out crowd is set to fill the stands at Robina Stadium with finals day looming large on Sunday.

RUGBY SEVENS – MEN

The Australian men’s rugby sevens open their Commonwealth Games campaign with three games against Samoa (9:31am AEST), Jamaica (1:11pm AEST) and England (8:05pm AEST). Currently ranked fifth in the world, Australia have to finish in top spot from pool B to qualify for the semifinals on Sunday. Andy Friend’s side suffered some misfortune in the weeks leading up to the Games with captain Lewis Holland ruled out with a hamstring tendon injury before stand-in skipper James Stannard joined him on the sidelines after an unprovoked one-punch attack left the playmaker with a fractured skull.

 

SHOOTING

3x40m Rifle shooters Will Godward and Dane Sampson will be hoping to finish Australia’s Commonwealth shooting competition with a bang when they take to the range on the last day of the Commonwealth shooting competition at Belmont Shooting Range. However, they will face tough competition from India’s Sanjeev Rajput who will be keen to better his silver medal-finish at the 2014 Games.

 

SQUASH

The next two days are imperative for Australia’s squash athletes, with the mixed doubles medal matches taking place tomorrow, and the men’s and women’s doubles medals up for grabs on the final day of competition.

After a successful defeat of England in the semi finals, Donna Urquhart and Cameron Pilley will battling it out with Indian duo Dipika Pallikal Kathrik and Saurav Ghosal for Commonwealth glory.

Tomorrow, men’s doubles duo Zac Alexander and David Palmer, will compete against Scotland’s Alan Clyne and Greg Lobran, who are the favourites in the division, while Rachael Grinham and Donna Urquhart will again, come up against Joelle King and Amanda Landes-Murphy, who they won a match and lost a match against.

 

TABLE TENNIS

Australian Para-table tennis star Melissa Tapper is out to make history tomorrow, aiming to win the country’s first Commonwealth Games gold medal in table tennis. Tapper will compete in the gold medal match with Nigeria’s Faith Obazuaye, an athlete who she has not yet played over her career spanning two Paralympic Games and two Commonwealth Games. Tapper will compete for gold at 12:55pm AEST.

A second Australian is in contention for a medal in the women’s Para-table tennis tournament; Andrea McDonnell will play off for bronze against England’s Felicity Pickard. McDonnell has never won a medal at a major international event.

 

WRESTLING

Australia’s last two competitors in the wrestling take to the mat today.

Rupinder Kaur is in action in the lightest women’s weight class, the 50kg division. Rupinder has had an unusual preparation for the Games, with her young daughter living with her mother in India for the past few months as she has concentrated on training.

Australia’s other representative is arguably the host country’s best chance for a medal in Jayden

Lawrence, whose cousin Clarissa Holland wrestled in the 53kg class on the opening day of

Competition. Lawrence will be competing in the 86kg class. Over the years he has at times been a training partner of Indian wrestling superstar Sushil Kumar, who won gold in the 74kg division.

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