IMAGE|| Michael Willson
A tremendous day one for the host national at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games with powerful performances in the pool and at the velodrome. The haul was Gold 5, Silver 4, Bronze 6, Total 15
GOLD – men 4000m team pursuit, women 4000m team pursuit, women team sprint
BRONZE Brad Henderson Para 1000m time trial, men team pursuit
GOLD – Mack Horton 400m freestyle, women 4x100m freestyle,
SILVER Jack McLoughlin 400m freestyle, Liam Schluter S14 200m freestyle, Ariane Titmus 200m freestyle
BRONZE – Daniel Fox men S14 200m freestyle, Emma McKeon women 200m freestyle, Blair Evans 400m individual medley, Matt Wilson 200m breaststroke
SILVER – Jake Birtwistle
Australia faced South Africa in the opening round of the badminton mixed team event at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.Debutant Anthony Joe had a hard fought straight sets men’s singles victory 24-22 and 22-20, Wendy Chen won the women’s singles easily 21-5, 21-13. Matthew Chau and Sawan Serasinghe recorded a 2-0 victory over Cameron Coetzer and Bongani von Bodenstein in the men’s doubles match, giving the Aussies an unassailable 3-0 lead. Australia’s No.1 seeds, women’s doubles pairing of Gronja Somerville and Setyana Mapasa, kept the good times rolling eclipsing their opponents 21-6, 21-13. Australia made it a clean sweep, winning the mixed doubles clash in straight sets thanks to Serasinghe and Mapasa.
Terry Nickolas had a convincing win 5:0 decision win over Bahamian Carl Hield in his first 69kg bout to progress into the round of 16. Harry Garside, rated a medal hope, had a similar comfortable 5:0 decision win over Ghana’s Abdul Omar.
Australia picked up half of the six gold medals on offer on the opening day of track cycling at the Commonwealth Games:
- The men’s 4000m team pursuit won gold for Australia in a new World Record time in front of an electric crowd at the Anna Meares Velodrome. Kelland O’Brien, Jordan Kerby teamed up with Alex Porter, Leigh Howard and Sam Welsford to win in a new World Record time of 3 minutes 49.804 seconds.
- The women’s team pursuit made a statement with a dominant gold medal performance against New Zealand. The “A Team” of Ashlee Ankudinoff, Amy Cure, Annette Edmondson and Alexandra Manly clocked 4 minutes 15.214 seconds in the final to beat the Kiwis by nearly 10 seconds.
- Speedsters Kaarle McCulloch and Stephanie Morton thrashed the New Zealand pair of Natasha Hansen and Emma Cumming in the women’s team sprint to win gold. McCulloch powered away on the last lap to win in a new Commonwealth Games record time of 32.488 seconds.
- Australia also picked up a bronze medal in the men’s team sprint and the tandem pairing of Brad Henderson and pilot Tom Clarke won a bronze in the B&VI 1000m time trial, Australia’s first Para medal of the 2018 Games.
GYMNASTICS – ARTISTIC
A gallant Australian Men’s Artistic Gymnastics (MAG) team have finished fifth in the Team Final at Coomera Indoor Sports Centre. Australia competed in subdivision 2 (of 3) alongside New Zealand, Wales, Malaysia, Northern Ireland and Nigeria. Luke Wadsworth, Michael Tone, Chris Remkes and Michael Mercieca all put in strong performances. Remkes scored 14.950 and 14.800 for his Vaults respectively, with his average of 14.875 by far being the highest score awarded across the entirety of the first two subdivisions. The entire Aussie team pulled out arguably one of the best Pommel Horse rotations performed by an Australian team in recent memory. Tone top-scored with 13.850, whilst Remkes hot on his heels with a score of 13.750.
But it was the might of the English who dominated the competition in the final session taking out a well-deserved gold medal with a combined team total of 258.950. They were more than 10 marks clear of their nearest rivals, Canada, who took out the silver medal with 248.650. Scotland took the bronze, scoring 240.975.
HOCKEY – WOMEN
The Hockeyroos opened their Commonwealth Games title defence with a 1-0 victory over Canada at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre. Powerful defender Jodie Kenny converted a penalty stroke in the second quarter, giving the Roos a narrow victory over a resilient Canadian outfit.
The Australian Jackaroos suffered one unexpected blemish to their Games campaign on the opening day of competition, with the highly fancied men’s triples team upstaged by a defiant Jersey trio. The other five contests went according to script for the Jackaroos, who fired a warning shot to all international raiders courtesy of a number of emphatic victories, including a 40 shot win to the women’s fours contingent against Papua New Guinea.
The Australian Diamonds have opened their Commonwealth Games campaign with their biggest ever victory over Northern Ireland, 94 -26. Coach Lisa Alexander utilised all 12 players during the game, with Jo Weston and April Brandley both playing at wing defence and goal defence, demonstrating their versatility.Returning to international netball for the first time since October 2015, Queenslander Laura Geitz was named in the starting seven at goal keeper, and played the first half.
Australia starting seven was – GS: Caitlin Bassett, GA: Susan Pettitt, WA: Madi Robinson, C: Liz Watson, WD: Gabi Simpson, GD: April Brandley, GK: Laura Geitz.
Caitlin Bassett 31/34 (91%), Susan Pettitt 13/13 (100%), Caitlin Thwaites 39/39 (100%),Stephanie Wood 11/15 (73%)
It was a 100 per cent success rate today for Australia’s squash athletes at the Commonwealth Games, with five athletes defeating their opponents in some incredibly tough matches. 29-year-old Rex Hedrick played a double, knocking out Malaysia’s Ein Yow Ng in a nail-biting 84 minute five-set match, with Hedrick taking out the final set. Currently ranked 67 in the world, the Commonwealth Games debutant drew energy from the home crowd to go on to beat Guyana’s Seth Sunil in an easy three sets. In a stark contrast, Canberra’s Christine Nunn had a quick first day of action, defeating former Australian squash representative Dianne Kellas from Malta in just 16 minutes. Nunn, the current Australian champion, who is ranked 69 in the world, won the match in three sets (11-3, 11-3, 11-2) and was able to enjoy the majority of Hedrick’s first victory. In other results of the day, Ryan Cuskelly defeated Othniel Bailey of St Vincents and the Grenadines in three sets. Tamika Saxby claimed the same result against Cayman Island’s Eilidh Bridgeman and Donna Urquhart, a home favourite, beat Pakistain’s Faiza Zafar in three sets.
The Dolphins began Australia’s medal pursuit in the pool with nine medals on Thursday night. Mack Horton won the team’s first gold medal of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in the men’s 400m freestyle with Jack McLoughlin taking out the silver. Horton’s win is Australia’s first 400m freestyle gold in 16 years since Ian Thorpe took the gold in 2002. Ariarne Titmus achieved a personal best of 1:54.85 with her silver medal in the women’s 200m freestyle, just beating Emma McKeon who was off to a strong start but finished with the bronze.
McKeon dominated the pool on Thursday, swimming five events on day one of the competition, adding a world record of 3:30.05 and a gold medal for the women’s 4x100m freestyle to her collection. Rounding out the gold medal relay team were swimming superstars Bronte Campbell, Cate Campbell and Shayna Jack. Australia scored dual medals in the men’s S14 200m freestyle with Liam Schluter and Daniel Fox claiming the silver and bronze medals, respectively. Blair Evans took out a bronze medal for her performance in the women’s 400m Individual Medley, along with Matt Wilson who also won a bronze medal for the men’s 200m Breaststroke.
Australia’s table tennis athletes got off to a flying start on day one of competition, with both the Women’s and Men’s Team acing two out of two matches of the group stage.The Women’s Team, headlined by five-time Olympian Miao Miao as well as dual Paralympian/Olympian Melissa Tapper, defeated Mauritius in an east three straight sets, and then came up against table tennis team heavyweights Canada in their second match of the day, also coming up strong 3-1. The Team, which claimed bronze four years ago at Glasgow 2014 are thrilled and have secured themselves in the semi-final, to take place either tomorrow or Saturday, with the draw yet to be decided. While the Men’s Team have more matches to play before the final rounds begin, a podium finish is certainly on the table after the team defeated both Kiribiti and Scotland. Tomorrow’s draw is yet to be decided.
Former track athlete, Jake Birthwhistle sprinted home in the run leg to put himself on the podium and claim Australia’s first medal of the Commonwealth Games. He won silver behind South African Henri Schoeman, defeating a quality field including the Brownlee brothers and RSA’s Richard Murray who was fourth in Rio. He was just seven seconds behind Schoeman. For a while it looked like Matt Hauser would also finish on the podium, but eventually was just two seconds short. Luke Willian was gallant in placing eighth. With three athletes in the top-8 it was the best ever Australian men’s or women’s results at the Commonwealth Games.
In the women’s event home town favourite, Ashley Gentle, was an excellent fifth, 30 seconds from the podium.
Australian Phillip Liao recorded a 91kg lift in the snatch and 114kg in the clean and jerk for a total weight of 205kg and a seventh-place finish in the men’s 56kg class. Alyce Stephenson also secured a seventh-place finish for the Aussies with a five kg personal best in the women’s 48kg division as Indian lifter Chanu Saikhom Mirabi set both Commonwealth and Games records. Vannara Be finished up the night in tenth after lifting 242kg combined in the men’s 62kg position.