EziSports
SHARE WITH YOUR MATES !
Commonwealth Games star Sally Pearson

Your guide to the medal chances at the Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games return home this week, with the Gold Coast set to host a fortnight of action in the pool, on the track and field and in a range of team and individual events.

Here is your guide to our best medal chances, including some bolters who could surprise.

In the pool at the Commonwealth Games

Commonwealth Games stars Sisters Cate and Bronte Campbell

Sisters Cate and Bronte Campbell will be weapons in the pool for Australia at the Commonwealth Games

This is where Australia should really dominate. After the disappointment of the London Olympics, Australia's pride in the pool was somewhat restored at Rio.

But now expectations are high that they will sweep all opposition aside. Champion Cate Campbell pointed out that Australia had never been beaten in the pool at the Commonwealth Games and said: "I don't think this team is going to let that record fall".

The Aussies claimed a record 57 medals in the pool at Glasgow, including 19 gold. That record could be broken again here.

Campbell is joined by Olympic champions Kyle Chalmers and Mack Horton plus world champion backstroker Emily Seebohm and a host of other talents that will be hard to stop, despite improving times from English athletes.

On the track

ally Pearson heads up a strong roster in the athletics, with the champion hurdler aiming for gold at her home games.

But an achilles injury has hampered her preparation, with the 2012 London Olympics gold medallist racing the clock. Pearson's fitness appears the only barrier between her and Commonwealth gold.

Michelle Jenneke has made plenty of highlight reels in the past for her dancing warmups, but to date her potential has not been delivered. A home games presents a golden chance for the hurdler to show her mettle, especially if Pearson is hampered.

In the middle distance running, Luke Matthews has a huge chance to upset the Kenyan favourites across 800m and 1500m. Matthews recently ran 1.45.16 across 800m which would have been good enough for bronze at the world championships. A strong improver that is a lot better than his 81-1 odds would suggest.

Jacob Birtwhistle is rated a 17-1 long shot to take out the triathlon, but enjoyed a boost ahead of the games with a win at Noosa. The 22-year-old is not without hope. Ashleigh Gentle is a strong medal hope for the women, but lines up against raging favourite Flora Duffy of Bermuda. 

Canada's Damian Warner will be hard to stop in the decathlon, but Aspley product Cedric Dubler recently recorded a points haul that would have netted him silver at Glasgow.

Defending men's marathon champ Michael Shelley presents enormous value at 34-1, with the veteran expected to once again take it to the Kenyan stars in the longest race of the Games.

In the field

Commonwealth Games pole vaulter Kurtis Marschall

Pole vaulter Kurtis Marschall is a strong chance of Commonwealth Games gold

Kurtis Marschall is odds-on favourite to win the pole vault after narrowly missing out on a medal at the world indoor athletics championships.

He registered 5.8m there, 20cm more than his main Commonwealth Games rival in Canadian Shawnacy Barber.

Victorian javelin thrower Kathryn Mitchell set two national records in a dominant domestic season and is in the box seat for her first ever medal in her fourth Games. Glasgow medallist Hamish Peacock will be in the mix for the mens event.

Darling Downs thrower Matthew Denny has roared into contention in the hammer after winning two competitions in 12 hours this year. His 63.56m throw registered an automatic entry to the Games and places him as a genuine chance of a medal.

Brandon Starc is a 51-1 shot in the high jump, but it will be interesting to see how the brother of Cricket star Mitchell will fare.

On the bikes

The mens team sprint will be a battle royale between Australia and New Zealand, but all eyes will be on the women who get plenty of new starts here.

Women's team sprint, keirin and team pursuit events have been added to the 2018 program with plenty of talent to contest them. 

Matthew Glaetzer will be an interesting proposition for the men. He took up cycling after injuries ended his pole vaulting career and he will take on the sprint, time trial, team sprint and Keirin.

Gymnastics

Comeback kids Georgia Godwin and Georgia-Rose Brown will spearhead Australia's gymnastics assault. Both are returning from strings of injury setbacks and will form the anchor of the Aussie team. 

Australia is also a strong medal chance in the womens artistic gymnastics, although England will line up as favourites.

Shooting

The Australian Commonwealth Games shooting team

The Australian shooting team will be aiming for gold at the Commonwealth Games

Rio Olympic finalist Laetisha Scanlan, Rio gold medallist Catherine Skinner, and veterans Bruce Quick and David Chapman will spearhead an Aussie contingent of 28 shooters.

There will be plenty of debutants looking to impress at the Games. Elena Galiabovitch and Lalita Yauhleuskaya have been marked as shooters to watch in the pistol event, while there will be a mix of experience in the mens air rifle with two-time Olympian Dane Sampson and newcomer Alex Hoberg.

Four-time Olympian Dan Repacholi will also be looking to defend his Commonwealth title in a strong Australian team that could reap in plenty of medals.

Team sports

The Australian womens Rugby Sevens Commonwealth Games team

Womens Rugby Sevens will be held at the Commonwealth Games for the first time

The Australian Rugby Sevens teams will be a highlight, with the women in particular coming in with plenty of expectation surrounding them.

After claiming Olympic gold in the sport's first running at the Games, there will be great hope they can double up.

This will be the first time the women have been able to play Sevens at the Commonwealth Games, with the men debuting back in 1998 at Kuala Lumpur.

Eight of the Olympic gold medal winning side will back up again for this.

Both the Boomers and the Opals will be warm gold medal chances in the basketball. This is largely as traditional powerhouses like the United States and several European nations will not be present.

The Boomers will be without their NBA and overseas contingent, fielding an all-NBL outfit. The Opals will have plenty of WNBA talent including the towering Liz Cambage in the key. It would be a significant disaster if either didn't claim gold.

On the hockey pitch, retiring Kookaburra Mark Knowles has been handed flag-bearing duties in his last ever major tournament. The Aussies will be favourites in both the men and women's competitions, but there will be tricky assignments against Asian nations. In particular, India poses the greatest threat to both sides claiming Commonwealth gold. New Zealand has been a major threat on the women's side of the draw as well.

Beach volleyball makes its Commonwealth Games debut at the Gold Coast Chris McHugh, Mariafe Artacho del Solar, Taliqua Clancy and Damien Schumann to compete for inaugural gold. Canada are the raging favourites, with the Aussies on the second line of betting. 

Gronya Somerville and Setyana Mapasa present a rare chance at a badminton gold medal, with the duo entering the games ranked No.2 in the world. India and England pose their greatest threats.

Reigning World Champions and top ranked seeds Cameron Pilley and Ryan Cuskelly will be hard to stop in the mens squash doubles, while Pilley will also team up with Donna Urquhart in the mixed doubles.

Lawn Bowls is the other team sport on the card, with Australia, New Zealand and England expected to jostle for the medals in the mens and womens singles, pairs, triples and fours. The local side will be anchored by Australian No.1 Barry Lester.

About the Author Josh Alston

Josh Alston is a hack with over 12 years industry experience, covering sport across all codes for newspapers and online agencies. Known to frequent grade matches because of their cheap tinnies. Eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Masters in sitting on the hill when the local cricket side was playing. Softball premiership winner, rugby league legend in Year 10 and no stranger to Doomben Racecourse.

follow me on: