The 2018 Commonwealth Games opened with a bang. Literally. From fireworks, music and dancing to Migaloo, blimps and much more if the GC 2018 Opening Ceremony was any indication, the Commonwealth is in for quite the show over the next two weeks.
Day One’s program included; artistic gymnastics, badminton, basketball, boxing, cycling (track), hockey, lawn bowls, netball, squash, swimming, table tennis, triathlon and weightlifting.
And what a display of sport it was.
The First Medal
Flora Duffy claimed the first gold medal of GC2018 at Southport Broadwater Parklands in the Women’s Triathlon. She finished in a time of 56 minutes and 50 seconds, only 43 seconds in front of English Jessica Learmonth and 48 seconds in front of Canadian Joana Brown. Duffy also went down in history as the first female Bermudian Commonwealth Games gold medalist. “I came in the favourite, so that adds its own pressure. For me it was personal, I wanted to do well…” Duffy said.
South Africa’s First Triathlon Gold
Henri Schoeman claimed victory in the men’s Triathlon and became the first ever South African to win a gold medal at a Commonwealth Games.
Australia’s First Medal
Tasmanian triathlete Jake Birtwhistle narrowly missed out on gold yesterday (by 7 seconds!) but his background as a champion Australian junior middle-distance runner, helped him bring it home in the run leg to secure the first medal of the games for Australia. “I am really happy to finish up with a silver today. It feels amazing.” He said in an interview. He then thanked the huge support of the Aussie crowd, stating that they were immensely valuable.
The Future of Swimming Steal The Show
The first events of swimming stole to show yesterday, with a battle of swimming’s superstar 17-year-olds. In a nail-biting 200m freestyle final, Canada’s Taylor Ruck held off a fast finishing Ariarne Titmus of Australia. "I saw Ariarne (Titmus) coming up and I thought she'd won," Ruck said. "Going through my head I thought I just had to keep my head down and try not to breathe because I thought I saw Ariarne coming up really fast and I was thinking, just go as fast as I can. In the last 25m I took two breaths." We are excited to see what both these girls could achieve at future Olympics and Commonwealth Games.
Medals in The Velodrome
Beating England in the final and breaking the world record in the process, our men’s team pursuit took out the gold medal. Our Aussies in the velodrome didn’t stop there though, with the women’s 4,000m team pursuit also claiming gold over New Zealand in the finals. The A team; Ashlee Akudinoff, Amy Cure, Annette Edmondson and Alexandra Manly also broke the Commonwealth Games record in their win with a time of 4:15.214. The gold medals continued to flow on the cycling track with the pair of Kaarle McCulloch and Stephanie Morton beating New Zealand in the women’s team sprint.
Out of the Games
Our resident golden girl of the track, Sally Pearson officially withdrew from the Games due to an Achilles injury, but has vowed not to quit athletics. "I did everything I possibly could do get out and race for Australia," Pearson said. "I was full of confidence warming up (for training two days ago). I went into a hurdles drills and couldn't do it. These injuries can spike very quickly. It was unfortunate the timing was now but my health comes first.”
Our Golden Girls
The favourites going into the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay were our Aussie girls and they sure didn’t disappoint. To end Day 1, lead-off swimmer Shayna Jack powered through her leg and was followed by Bronte Campbell, who established a body-length lead over the rest of the field. The third leg was up to Emma McKeon who managed to further their lead to two body-lengths, before changing over to 100m freestyle world record holder Cate Campbell. Cate showed she was back, powering home to stop the clock at 3.05 minutes, smashing the previous record by 0.6 seconds.