This article titled “Commonwealth Games 2018 day one: triathlon, bowling, weightlifting and more – live!” was written by Michael McGowan, for theguardian.com on Thursday 5th April 2018 09.36 Asia/Kolkata
South Africa wins gold in men’s triathlon
South Africa’s Henri Schoeman has just taken out the gold medal in the men’s triathlon.
An ecstatic Schoeman – who won bronze in Rio two years ago – gave a one-fingered salute and pumped his fists as he headed to the finish line. He finished ahead of Australia’s Jake Birtwhistle – who wins the host nation’s first medal – in second and Scotland’s Marc Austin in third.
Olympic champion Sally Pearson withdraws from games
As we’ve already mentioned, the big news out of day one is that Australia’s Sally Pearson has withdrawn from the games.
The champion hurdler is one of the face of the games and carried the Queen’s baton on its final leg at Wednesday night’s opening ceremony. She revealed in a press conference that she’d known the full extent of the injury two days ago, but decided to keep it quiet until after the curtain-raiser.
Mike Hytner’s got the full story, which you can read below.
Welcome to day one
G’day! The big talking point so far today is that Australia’s Sally Pearson, the 2012 Olympic gold medal winning hurdler, has pulled out of the Games after failing to recover from her ongoing Achilles injury. In a press conference a little while ago Pearson said she was “absolutely gutted” to have to withdraw, but that the decision was made in the interests of her longer-term fitness. She had been in the running, so to speak, for a third consecutive Commonwealth Games gold.
We’ve also had the first gold medallist of the games. Bermuda’s Flora Duffy won the women’s triathlon 43 seconds ahead of England’s Jessica Learmonth, giving the island territory an early edge in the medal tally. It was Bermuda’s first Commonwealth gold since Auckland in 1990, and Duffy, a two-time world champion, said that she’d felt a lot of expectation coming into the race. “There’s a 50-foot poster of me in town. Being an introvert it gets a bit much, but it’s great to inspire,” she said after the race.
The men’s triathlon is currently up and running (and swimming and cycling) and we’ll bring you more on the action there in just a bit.
Malaysia’s Muhammad Azroy Hazalwa set the first Commonwealth record at the 2018 games in the weightlifting, with a winning total of 261kg in the men’s 56kg class.
Elsewhere the six-day swimming program kicked off with heats in the pool.
Australia’s Ariarne Titmus qualified fastest for the 200m women’s freestyle, while Scotland’s two-time 400m individual medley champion Hannah Miley was a second faster than the rest of the field in qualifying for that event.
Seventeen-year-old Titmus has been rated a breakout hope for Australia by none other than Australia’s retired Olympic hero Ian Thorpe, and qualified ahead of the likes of England’s Eleanor Faulkner and Canada’s Penny Oleksiak.
Oleksiak became a household name in Canada after winning gold at the Rio Olympics as a 16-year-old. Now 17, she raced on Wednesday despite announcing that her grandmother had died as last night’s opening ceremony came to a close.
We’ll bring you coverage in the finals for those two events plus a whole bunch more in the pool a little bit later on.
Speaking of the opening ceremony, you can catch up on Jonathan Howcroft’s coverage of the event here. He rated it “not terrible”.
Here are your medal must-watches for the rest of the day. All times are local – the Gold Coast is GMT +10:00 and EST +14:00.
- From 7.00pm the men’s and women’s cycling will kick into gear (sports metaphors sort of stop working when you’re actually talking about the relevant sport, don’t they?) with finals in the 4000m team pursuit and sprint. The team pursuit promises to be quite something. Australia’s men won the last two world titles but finished second to England at the 2016 Olympics.
- Also from 7.00pm there’s a host of finals in the pool, including the 4x100m relay where Australia’s Cate and Bronte Campbell will try to add to their 2016 Rio gold.
- We mentioned that the men’s triathlon is on now. We’ll bring you the action there as it unfolds.
- There are also medals up for grabs this afternoon in the men’s and women’s weightlifting events and men’s artistic gymnastics.
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