Day 3 | Commonwealth Games 2018: Blank highlights

Day three saw the men’s all-around final in individual artistic gymnastics at Coomera Indoor Sports Centre. Australia had two competitors: Michael Tone and Michael Merceica (much like having two Australian Georgias in the women’s team finals!) The competition was tight and explosive; the crowd cheerfully loud. The atmosphere is always electric at the gymnastics, with commentators getting the audience pumped in between rotations with silly dance moves, pink disco lights and and handful of bangers to amp up the mood.

Tone and Merceica are impressive athletes and delivered consistently across the apparatus, with both of their parallel bar performances drawing roars from the crowd and fist pumps from the gymnasts. Tone’s pommel performance was his event highlight, and a devastating fall at dismount on the horizontal bar dropped his position while Merceica’s turn actually upped his average slightly. Standing before the final round had Tone in eighth but Merceica in fourth and within medal contention, making his floor routine absolutely critical. He delivered an extremely solid, if safe, floor performance, but the other gymnasts just brought a little too much on the day, edging him down to fifth in the final tally. It was an exciting day for England, with their competitors taking home a well-earned Gold (Nile Wilson) and Silver (James Hall) in a nail-biting finish. Cypriot and crowd favourite Marios Georgiou took home the Bronze.

Gymnastics words by Natalie O’Driscoll. Images (c) Nadia Achilles

With Australia leading the medal tally at 36 this morning, England placing second at 18 medals, Day 3 at the pool began at a cruisy pace.

There were no surprises in the Men’s 200m Butterfly, with David Morgan and Grant Irvine leading their heats. They will face tough competition tonight, however, with South Africa’s Chad Le Clos determined to score his third consecutive Commonwealth gold, a trophy to place alongside his gold medal for 5om Butterfly.

The Women’s 200m Breaststroke was a very even field of twenty competitors, only eight progressing to tonight’s final. These include Australians Taylor McKeown and Tessa Williams, with Georgia Bohl missing out on a chance for a medal.

There are twelve Para events at GC2018, the first Games to be fully integrated. While the Men’s S8 (physical disability of joint restrictions and amputation) 100m Breaststroke swam only for lane placings, the Women’s SM10 200m Individual Medley competitors swam to compete in the finals. Our Aussie girls Paige Leonhardt, Katherine Downie and Jasmine Greenwood will have a hard task catching New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe tonight in the final. Pascoe left everyone in her wake this morning, finishing a couple of seconds outside her world record time.

The Men’s 50m Backstroke proved to be tight competition, with Aussies leading the way with the three fastest heat times by Zac Incerti 25.05, Mitch Larkin and Benjamin Treffers. Incerti will be intent on gaining a second gold in tonight’s final.

Fast-paced, the Women’s 50m Butterfly sorted out sixteen contestants for tonight’s semi-finals, with Aussie’s Madeline Groves, Cate Campbell and Holly Barratt leading the pack. Cate Campbell has the crowd behind her, with hopes she’ll back up her stunning Freestyle Relay gold, won in the final on Sunday night.

One of the most popular events of the Games is the Men’s 100m Freestyle. The eight heats were a display of Commonwealth countries. From St Helena and Gibraltar to Kenya and Samoa, everyone had a chance to make tonight’s semi-finals. But today belonged to the Aussies, with Kyle Chalmers, Jack Cartwright and Cameron McEvoy leading the charge. Chalmers, the Olympic champion, will be hungry for his third gold medal on Sunday night, but it will not be gained without a fight.

As Head Coach Jacco Verhaeren said yesterday, “Every medal was special. It’s a Games medal on home soil in front of a crowd like this.”

Swimming words and images by Marj Osborne.

Our Australian Women’s Beach Volleyball Team took out Grenada in the Women’s Preliminary Pool A at Coolangatta Beachfront. Our team comprised 25 year old Kingaroy competitor Taliqua Clancy and  Peru-born Mariafe Artacho del Solar, and was our first women’s beach volleyball team in the Commonwealth Games.

Clancy is also Australia’s first Indigenous person to represent Australia in beach volleyball, and in Rio she was the first Indigenous Olympian in beach volleyball.

“Being a Queenslander I’m going to feel right at home on the Gold Coast,” she said.

As the sun set over the ocean, the crowd cheered on as our ladies dominated, taking out a 2-0 victory. Australia will play Scotland tomorrow night at 9.30pm for a place in the quarter finals.

Beach volleyball words by Leisen Standen and Natalie O’Driscoll. Images by Lamp Photography.

 

We caught the triathlon action at Broadwater Parklands, where Australia’s medal tally copped a nice bump up. The Men’s PTWC final saw Aussies Nic Beveridge and Bill Chaffey take out Silver and Bronze respectively, while the Aussie women Emily Tapp and Lauren Parker pulled off the exactly the same feat in the Women’s PTWC. It was a golden day for the Mixed Team Relay Final as the Aussie team took out top honours in an incredible time of 1:17:36. Congratulations to Gillian Backhouse, Matthew Hauser, Ashleigh Gentle and Jacob Birtwhistle.
Triathlon words by Natalie O’Driscoll. Images by Danny Santangelo Photography

 

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