DAILY PREVIEW – THURSDAY 5TH APRIL

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IMAGE|| MICHAEL WILLSON

 

Day one kicks off with 13 sports in action across four locations in Queensland. The first medal to be awarded is in the women’s triathlon where Australia has three strong hopes Ash Gentle, Charlotte McShane and Gillian Backhouse. Swimming and cycling will close the day with Australia expected to be on the top of the podium at both sports.

 

Highlights:

-Men and women triathlon

-Swimming Cate and Bronte Campbell in Australia’s 4x100m freestyle relay.

-Cycling – four medals incl men team pursuit

-Team sports, women hockey and netball

 

BADMINTON

The Gold Coast is set for some of the best and fastest badminton competition in the world when the Commonwealth team’s competition kicks off at the Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre today. Australia will face South Africa in Pool C in the men’s, women’s and mixed doubles events. Talented women’s doubles pair of Gronya Somerville and Setyana Mapasa go into GC2018 ranked No. 2 in the Commonwealth and will be our Aussies to watch.

 

BOXING

Kicking off the preliminary rounds in boxing for Australia will be Victoria’s Harry Garside, one of our strongest contenders for Commonwealth gold. Having missed selection for the Rio Olympic team, Harry will be out for redemption as he takes on Ghana’s Abdul Omar in the men’s 60kg weight class. South Australia’s Terry Nickolas is set to take to the boxing ring in the 69kg class, and will come up against Bahamian Carl Hield. Having quit his job at a printing factory four years ago to dedicate himself to boxing, Nickolas has been training three times daily to give him the best opportunity to fight for glory on the Gold Coast.

 

CYCLING

Medals aplenty on offer on the opening day of GC2018 track cycling competition at the Anna Meares Velodrome:

  • Australia will be the heavyweights to beat in the men’s Team Pursuit – Samuel Welsford will lead the green and gold outfit with Alexander Porter and Kelland O’Brien.
  • Annette Edmondson is back on the track for her second Games, and will line up in the Team Pursuit alongside teammates Amy Cure and Ashlee Ankudinoff, plus Games debutant Alexandra Manly.
  • In the sprint, Stephanie Morton and Kaarle McCulloch will contest the team sprint event and will bolt from the gates as strong favourites.
  • The men’s sprint quartet is headlined by reigning sprint World Champion Matthew Glaetzer who will be eager to add Commonwealth sprint gold to his rainbow jersey. Glaetzer will open his campaign in an impressive men’s sprint trio with Rio Olympians Nathan Hart and Patrick Constable.
  • The Tandem Para-cycling selections are led by Jessica Gallagher and Pilot Madison Janssen who are fresh from winning two silver medals at the 2018 World Championships. In the men’s, Bradley Henderson will make his debut with Pilot Thomas Clarke.

 

GYMNASTICS – ARTISTIC

Australia open their gymnastics campaign in the Men’s Artistic Gymnastics qualification and team event. Hopes are high for a medal, but the English will be the benchmark.

 

HOCKEY – WOMEN

The women’s GC2018 hockey competition kicks off at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre today. The Hockeyroos will start their title defence campaign against the Canadian women who will be looking to produce a strong foundation for their Games campaign. The Hockeyroos are in Pool B in the women’s draw alongside New Zealand (fourth), Scotland (18th), Canada (21st) and Ghana (30th). They will be gunning for a fourth straight Games gold medal, but will have to buck the rankings to do so – they’re currently ranked fifth in the world – below England (2nd) and New Zealand (4th).

 

LAWN BOWLS

The Australian Jackaroos will commence their campaign to end a 12-year Commonwealth Games gold medal drought when the nine-day Lawn Bowls competition begins at Broadbeach. The team’s best performance at a Games came on home soil in 2006, where they claimed three gold and a total of five medals from six disciplines; this year they will contest 10 medals and expectations of striking gold are immense, given their rich vein of form at the past two World Bowls Championships. All eyes will be on five-time Games competitor Karen Murphy, 43, who will be on the green in the first session at 9.00am following her reading of the Athlete’s Oath at tonight’s Opening Ceremony, commencing her bid to win the blue-ribbon discipline as the reigning two-time world singles champion.

 

NETBALL

Australian open their defense of the Commonwealth title against eight ranked Commonwealth national Northern Ireland at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre.

 

SQUASH

Five Aussies in action on day one of the squash tournament at the Games including leading host nation athletes Donna Urguhart and Cameron Pilley in the round of 32 singles. Christine Nunn takes on Malta’s Dianne Kellas, who was born in Australia and represented the host national at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games. Rex Hebrick and Tamika Saxby will also take to the court.

 

SWIMMING

The women’s 4x100m freestyle looks like a matchup between Australia and Canada with sisters Cate and Bronte Campbell spearheading our team. After a three Games drought, expect Australia to reclaim the men’s 400m freestyle with Olympic champion Mack Horton leading the charge. Defending 200m freestyle champion, Emma McKeon will have to fend off the challenge of homegrown rising star Ariarne Titmus.Rio and London Paralympic medallist Daniel Fox and his younger team mate Liam Schluter are Australia’s strong hopes in the S14 200m freestyle.

 

TABLE TENNIS

A heavy schedule for Australia’s table tennis athletes will begin on day one of competition with the group stages of the men’s and women’s team events beginning. Both the men and women’s teams will play two matches each. The women’s team, which claimed bronze at Glasgow 2014 will compete against Mauritius in the morning, followed by Wales in the afternoon, while the men’s team will come up against Mauritius and Scotland.

 

TRIATHLON

Australia’s elite band of triathletes will face the starters gun chasing the first medals of the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The women’s trio of Ashleigh Gentle, Charlotte McShane and Gillian Backhouse will be on the line at 9.30am followed by the men Jake Birtwhistle, Luke Willian and Matt Hauser at 1.00pm. The sprint distance course in the Elite individual races of 750m swim, 20km bike and five kilometre run will suit Australia’s dynamic young team – a new look team with Gentle the lone survivor from the Rio Olympic campaign. The 26-year-old Gold Coaster has learnt a lot from her Olympic experience and is ready to tackle what will be one of the most exciting days of her career and the rest of the team, in front of her home crowd.

 

WEIGHTLIFTING

Five days of excitement begins in the weightlifting competition tomorrow, with medals up for grabs in every session. Australia has qualified in all 16 weight divisions and lightweight, Phillip Liao in the 56kg division kicks off proceedings for the home nation tomorrow on his 25th birthday. In the afternoon Australia’s lightest female competitor, Alyce Stephenson in the 48kg class gets to represent her country for the first time and the Queenslander is more excited than nervous about the prospect of lifting for Australia in a Commonwealth Games.Night one ends with Vannera B in the men’s 62kg weight division. He is one of 14 competitors and has lifted the ninth highest weight recorded in the past two years of all entries.

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