Day Four of the Games, and the home team was running hot at Carrara Stadium for the Athletics. Aussies Huw Peacock, Jack Dalton and Matty Denny all competed in the Men’s Hammer Throw final, with Denny taking home the Silver. Aussie Melissa Breen just missed out on qualifying for the women’s 100m but ran a gutsy race in Heat 4. The men’s T38 Long Jump final saw two of our three Australia competitors in the medals, with Erin Cleaver and Taylor Doyle taking Silver and Bronze respectively, while Kailyn Joseph came in fifth.
Jamaican superstar and second fastest man in the world, Yohan Blake, got a run for his money from Aussie Rohan Browning in the Men’s 100m Heat 8, although he still took our first position. Browning qualified for the semi-final and ran a 10.26, the same time as South Africa’s Henricho Bruintjies, but unfortunately wasn’t sent through to the final, while Bruintjies was. Aussie Trae Williams put in an epic performance to win his Heat in a respectable 10.28 and qualify for semis, where he came fourth and missed out on a spot in the final.
In the Men’s 400m, Australia runner Steven Solomon also won his heat to qualify for the final with a respectable 45.39, while Stewart McSweyn, Morgan McDonald and David McNeill came fifth, eighth and twelfth respectively in the Men’s 5000m final.
Athletics words by Natalie O’Driscoll. Images by Nadia Achilles.
The boxing at Oxenford studios saw Quarterfinals and Round of 16 take place. Australia had two competitors. Campbell Somerville took on India’s Krishan Vikas in the Men’s middle (75kg) Round of 16, and unfortunately the Indian proved just too good on the day. Australian boxer Kaye Scott experienced more success, taking down Nigerian Itulu Oriono in the Women’s 69kg Quarterfinal 2, earning herself a spot in the semis, while Aussie Liam Wilson also progressed into the next stage, dominating Papua New Guinean John Ume in the Men’s 64kg Round of 16.
Boxing words by Natalie O’Driscoll. Images by Danny Santangelo.
Oxenford Studios also saw the Table Tennis semi finals and medal matches. Australia, having made it through to the semis, lost 3-0 to Singapore, putting the team of Melissa Tapper, Jian Fang Lay and Miao Miao into the Bronze medal match with England, where unfortunately the pommies proved just too good on the day, taking home the third place in a 3-1 match.
Tabel Tennis words by Natalie O’Driscoll. Images by Danny Santangelo.
There are fourteen competitors in the Men’s 94kg division representing some of the ‘family of nations’ that comprises the Commonwealth. The gold medal will be determined by the highest combined weight of two sections: Snatch, and Clean & Jerk. Each competitor has only three lift attempts in each section. Despite appearances, weightlifting is also a tactical competition, with jockeying of weights determining the order of competitors’ lifts, beginning with the lowest weight.
While we’d eagerly anticipated a rematch between Australia’s Simplice Ribouem and Papua New Guinea’s Steven Kari, it’s not to be, with Ribouem withdrawing due to injury. But there’s plenty of action to keep fans happy. All the other competitors have completed their lifts when Canada’s Boady Santavy enters the arena for his three lifts, quickly raising the bar in the Snatch to break the 2002 Games Record with a lift of 168kg. It’s a one-man competition. But the second half is yet to come.
In the Snatch & Jerk, starting weights vary by 60kg. Fortunately, the dramatic collapse of Welsh competitor Joshua Parry does not result in permanent injury, other competitors unaffected by his bad luck. With only four people left in the competition, the Clean & Jerk weight hits 200kg. And then there were two, as both Boady Santavy and Steven Kari take the first of their three lifts.
The two-man battle ends with both earning records and medals, defending champion Kari taking gold with a combined lift of 370kg equalling the Games Record weight, his Clean & Jerk breaking both Commonwealth and Games records. The PNG supporters go wild.
After celebrating by running around the stage, hurling his lifting belt into the crown, and carrying his coach up onto the stage, Kari said: “I didn’t come here to win silver or bronze. I came here for gold. I had a one-track mind.”
Only one kilo behind, 20-year-old Santavy earns silver, breaking his own Junior Commonwealth Snatch and overall records. Vikas Thakur from India, who’d recently moved up to the 94kg category, takes bronze.
Weightlifting words and images by Marj Osborne.
Netball saw Australia go up against South Africa at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, with the Aussies taking it out 60-38. It was a hard-fought game with a couple of injuries. Shooter Stephanie Wood had a tussle with defence a few minutes before the final whistle, resulting in a blood nose. She was all smiles however, as she should be with a 93% goal rate during the match (14/15). It was a stellar effort from the Queenslander in her maiden Commonwealth Games outing. South African Wing Defence sustained a leg injury during the third quarter. Following the win, Vice Captain Gabi Simpson praised the team for their hard work and training in the lead up to the Games.
Netball words by Leisen Standen and Natalie O’Driscoll. Images by Lamp Photography.