IMAGE|| MICHAEL WILLSON
Our final day of swimming will bring the medal haul to a halt, so it’s over to our track stars to continue the reign. Kurt Fearnley headlines – can he close his wheelchair track career with gold in the T54 1500m?
The gruelling decathlon continues in the Carrara stadium as Cedric Dubler and Kyle Cranston push for the podium. The men’s 800m contingent, led by Luke Mathews take to the track. In the evening Steve Solomon lines up in the 400m final where he is a genuine medal hope off the back of his recent national indoor 400m record run of 45.44. Although aged just 20 years, Alex Hulley could be a surprise medallist in the hammer throw. Can Kurt Fearnley close his wheelchair track career with gold in the T54 1500m? His main competition will be teammate Jake Lappin. In the women’s event, defending champion Angie Ballard will have to overcome former training partner Madi de Rozario. Linden Hall will fly the flag in the women’s 1500m. After a terrific heat run of 13.46, just outside his PB of 13.42, high hurdler Nick Hough goes into the final ranked sixth and with the prospect of bettering his fourth place from Glasgow. A bunch of Aussies commence their competition programs in the men’s and women’s 200m, men’s and women’s 400m hurdles.
After being knocked out in the quarterfinals of the teams event, the Australian badminton team is ready for the second phase of the competition in their quest to win some medals in the individual events. Anthony Jo kicks off proceedings against Daniel Sam of Ghana, and Wendy Chen opens her campaign in the women’s singles against another Ghanaian, Eyram Migbodzi.
Later in the day, it gets tougher for Australia’s men’s and women’s doubles pairings. Leanne Choo and Renuga Veeran are drawn to take on one of the best teams in the world in Ren-Ne Ong and J.Y.C Wong of Singapore.
Then the night session sees the experienced combination for the host nation, Rob Middleton and Ross Smith meet a gold medal fancy from England in Ben Lane and Chris Adcock.
BASKETBALL – MEN/WOMEN
Both the Boomers and Opals have won through to the semi-final stage on the Gold Coast which begins on Friday for our women and Saturday for the men. They will learn their opponents after tomorrow’s qualifying final matches.
The pool stage is over and now its quarterfinal time and sudden death in the beach volleyball. After topping their pool, Australia’s Chris McHugh and Damien Schumann have drawn Sierra Leone in their quarterfinal at 7.30pm.
The Aussies have been outstanding racking up three convincing wins over Fiji, St Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago but now the stakes are higher and the pressure will be right on. Sierra Leone were impressive in their pool matches despite only winning one match against Sri Lanka 21-17, 22-20. They did push the highly ranked Canada all the way in their opening match of the tournament 22-20, 21-14 before a gritty three set loss to Scotland 21-19, 18-21, 12-15.
Australia’s top ranked women will play Rwanda at 4.00pm. Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar have been super impressive in all their pool matches destroying all comers to top the pool. Rwanda only just snuck into the quarters with one win from their three pool matches and will have a big mountain to climb if they are to progress.
Complacency would seem to be the only thing that could stop the Aussies from steam rolling another opponent on their way to a semi final appearance.
Queensland boxer Sky Nicolson headlines Australia’s boxing contingent competing on day six of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
She’ll be swinging for gold in the 57 kilogram division, but she’ll also be following the footsteps of so many in her family, including her brother Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Jamie Nicolson who passed away in car accident in 1994. Nicolson will come up against Cameroon’s Christelle Auror. Liam Wilson is back in the ring, coming up against Luke McCormack from England in the 64kg division, while Jason Whately (91kg) will face Nigiera’s Damien Sullivan.
In the evening, Terry Nickolas, who has not lost one bout yet, will come up against India’s Manoj Kumar, while Toeye Vou Siutu, our athlete competing in the 91kg+ division will fight England’s Frazer Clarke.
CYCLING – ROAD
The Commonwealth Games cycling action moves from the Anna Meares Velodrome in Brisbane to the iconic Currumbin Beachfront for both the time trial and road races.
The versatile six-member men’s squad will see Steele Von Hoff and Mitchell Docker make their Games debuts, as will rising star Callum Scotson. While dual national champion Cameron Meyer will pull on the green and gold for Tuesday’s time trial ahead of the weekend’s road race.
Triple world championship medallist and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Katrin Garfoot will headline the six-member women’s team. The Gold Coast local will be a strong favourite in both the race against the clock and road race held in her backyard.
HOCKEY – MEN
The Kookaburras’ third game of the GC2018 competition is against Canada, who should never be underestimated as they proved when they finished fifth at the Hero Men’s Hockey World League semi-final in London, beating India in the process.
HOCKEY – WOMEN
The Hockeyroos face Scotland in their final pool of the GC2018 hockey competition. The Scots reached the quarterfinals at Glasgow 2014 but have taken giant strides forward in the intervening four years.
Aaron Wilson will play his final three sectional rubbers in the blue-ribbon men’s singles discipline tomorrow, following two victories today, in an attempt to reach Thursday’s quarter-finals.
One Para-sport competing on it’s own is the Para-powerlifting, taking place all in one day at the Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre. Australia will be represented in the women’s lightweight division, men’s lightweight division and the remaining two out of four athletes will be in the heavyweight division.
One of Australia’s most high profile Para-athletes, Paralympic champion in the long jump Kelly Cartwright will make her multi-sport competition debut at the Commonwealth Games. She’ll be lifting for Australia in the lightweight division.
Ben Wright who was born with spina bifida is at his second Commonwealth Games and will compete as a heavyweight, while Nang Nguyen, born in Vietnam, is the lightweight lifter. Nguyen’s story is an example of why Australia is so often called the land of opportunity. He was shunned by most of his family for his polio but his father didn’t give up on him and brought him to Australia for a better life. He is based in WA with Wright. Skinner, a Gold Coast native is competing at his third and final Commonwealth Games in the heavyweight division and is aiming to finish off his career with a medal.
Rifle shooters Dane Sampson and James Daly will be in action on day three, contesting the 50m prone rifle and competing against one of the most decorated athletes in Commonwealth Games history, India’s Gagan Narang. Narang is hoping his history of winning gold in Australia – four gold medals at Melbourne 2006 – will repeat on the Gold Coast.
It will be a big day for Australia’s squash athletes, returning to competition in the men’s, women’s and mixed doubles. Having missed out on a medal in the singles, the squash team will be looking to add their 31st medal to their overall tally at the Commonwealth Games.
There will be six matches for Australia over the course of the day, with Donna Urquhart and Rachael Grinham pairing together for two matches, while Ryan Cuskelly is back, having withdrawn from the singles competition due to injury, pairing up with Cameron Pilley to compete in one game, while he will compete with Urquhart and Grinham in another two matches.
The final night of the swimming program includes the usual men’s 1500m freestyle, splash and dash men’s 50m freestyle and the medley relays. In the 50m freestyle Rio fourth placegetter, England’s Ben Proud will be the favourite ahead of the Aussie trio of Cam McEvoy, James Magnussen and James Roberts. In the metric mile Australian pair Mack Horton and Jack McLoughlin should finish 1-2, but what will the order be? In the women’s 400m freestyle we should expect another three-way battle from Jess Ashwood, Ariarne Titmus and Welsh swimmer Jazz Carlin. In the S8 50m freestyle, Australia’s Lakeisha Patterson will be looking for her second gold of the Games. The program closes with the medley relays which Australia have owned for over two decades.
Australia’s table tennis competition is set to resume tomorrow, with the mixed doubles event and the Para-events taking centre stage. Up in the mixed doubles will be Miao Miao and David Powell, taking on Uganda’s Halima Nambozo and Ronald Nyaika. Both Miao and Powell be out for vengeance after missing out on the first table tennis medals on offer in the women’s and men’s team events, respectively.
Australia’s top ranked Para-table tennis athlete Melissa Tapper is expected to shine tomorrow when she takes on England’s Felicity Pickard in the her first match. With a mix of classes competing in the Para events, the Australian class 10 (most abled) will compete against a class 6 athlete and is expected to win.
Andrea McDonnell (class 10) will take on Canada’s Stephanie Chan, while Barak Mizrachi will compete against Nigera’s Temitope Ogunsanya.