Fri, Apr 6, 8:46am by Head Editor
The Commonwealth Games began on the Gold Coast on Thursday and the host nation, Australia, wasted little time in beginning their quest to top the medal tally, collecting 15 medals, including five golds.
Three of the five gold medals came at the brand-new Anna Meares Velodrome, with the men’s and women’s 4000 metre team pursuit teams both saluting as did the women’s team sprint outfit.
As you’d expect, there were plenty of highlights in the pool, with a full house at the Southport Aquatic Centre being treated to two golds, including a World Record from the women’s 4 x 100 metre freestyle relay line-up.
Emma McKeon and Shayna Jack were joined by the Campbell sisters, Bronte and Cate and it was the latter who enabled the side to smash their own world record that they set in the Rio Olympics two years ago.
A scintillating final leg of just 51.00 seconds from older sister Cate was enough to see the Aussies beat their old mark by more than 0.6 seconds, setting a new benchmark time of 3:30.05.
While there were plenty of highlights on the opening day in the sunshine state, the biggest lowlight from an Australian perspective was without doubt the press conference held by Olympic gold medallist Sally Pearson.
The 31-year-old, who played a huge part in the opening ceremony the night earlier, put on a brave face when she announced that she wouldn’t be competing after failing to overcome an Achilles injury.
The host nation may have taken home the most medals on the opening day, but it is arch-rivals England who sit on top of the standings, having claimed one more gold medal.
It was a great day for the Poms, who won four golds in the pool, one in the velodrome and one in artistic gymnastics.
It is likely that these two fierce rivals will be competing to top the standings, just as they did in Glasgow four years ago, when England finished in first place with 58 golds and Australia right behind them in second with 49 golds.
According to the bookies, it is expected to go the other way this time around though. Before play began, Australia were at $1.53 to win the most gold medals at Sportsbet, with England out at $2.50.
The total gold medals for Australia line has been set at an over/under of 70.5, which if the hosts can top, would obviously be a massive improvement on last time.
There are 17 gold medals up for grabs on the second day, nine of which are in the pool and seven that Australia has a genuine chance in, Friday could be an even better day for the green and gold.
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