Day one of the eagerly-awaited Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) sees Team Griffith athletes in action across swimming, lawn bowls, hockey and triathlon.
The bulk of the University attention will be on the Optus Aquatic Centre with the first of the heats starting at 10.31am.
David McKeon from the Griffith Swim Club – coached by Michael Bohl at the Gold Coast campus – will be the first swimmer into the water in the second heat of the Men’s 400m Freestyle at 10.52am. David, who competed at the 2012 London Olympic Games and the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, will be bidding for a place in the final later tonight at 7.46pm.
Gold medal defence
David’s sister, Emma McKeon, also starts her campaign today in the Women’s 200m Freestyle. The Public Health student starts the defence of her 2014 gold medal from lane four in the third heat (11.07am) with tonight’s final (8.04pm) very much in her sights.
Emma will also be in action in the heats of the Women’s 100m Butterfly, alongside another member of Griffith Swim Club, Madeline Groves.
Others to watch out for today at the Optus Aquatic Centre will be Leiston Pickett and Georgia Bohl in the Women’s 50m Breaststroke, while Business student Shayna Jack could be one to watch out for in Women’s 4 x 100m Freestyle relay at the end of the day (9.50pm).
Team Griffith will be represented on the double in the heats of the Men’s 50m Butterfly with alumnus, Sam Seghers, taking to the water for Papua New Guinea in heat four. He’ll be followed by Glasgow silver medallist, Grant Irvine from Griffith Swim Club, in heat six with both hoping to qualify for tonight’s semi-finals.
Today is also a red-letter day for Bachelor of Medical Science student, Zac Stubblety-Cook, who makes his Commonwealth Games debut in the first heat (12.07pm) of the Men’s 200m Breaststroke. He’ll be hoping to qualify for tonight’s final at 9.44pm.
Away from the water, Team Griffith will have more than a passing interest in both women’s and men’s Triathlon events, starting at Southport Broadwater Parklands.
Alumnus Ashleigh Gentle will line up in a field of 26 athletes for the women’s final at 9.31am, while Business student Matt Hauser will be one of three Australians among the 38 competitors in the men’s event which starts at a minute past one. Matt is one of 24 students that make up the 41-strong Team Griffith contingent.
Over at Broadbeach Lawn Bowls, Kelsey Cottrell will be competing at her third Commonwealth Games after winning medals at the last two in Glasgow and Delhi. Her first action at GC2018 will be in the Women’s Fours starting at 4pm when Australia takes on Papua New Guinea.
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The youngest member of Australia’s bowls team at the Games is Jake Fehlberg, will be Business graduate. At age 24, the Business graduate will represent Australia against South Africa (4pm) in the mixed pairs (vision impaired).
Around the corner for Griffith’s Gold Coast campus, the Hockeyroos will start the defence of their Commonwealth Games title when they face Canada at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre (4.32pm). The Hockeyroos are bidding for a fourth successive Commonwealth Games gold and Griffith alumnus Jordyn Holzberger will be hoping to be part of the action after her call up into the squad.
Current Students: Matthew Hauser (triathlon), Madison de Rozario (wheelchair athletics), Domonic Bedggood (diving), Tejaswinin Williamson (diving), Jesse Wagstaf (basketball), Brandon Wakeling (weightlifting), Stephanie Morton (cycling), Sara Tait (para triathlon), Jessica Ashwood (swimming), Georgia Bohl (swimming), Shayna Jack (swimming), Cameron McEvoy (swimming), Emma McKeon (swimming), Kiah Melverton (swimming), Leiston Pickett (swimming), Zac Stubblety-Cook (swimming), Matthew Denny (athletics), Riley Day (athletics), Liam Hunter (swimming), Skye Nicolson (boxing), John Lane (decathlon), Kelsey Cottrell (lawn bowls), Paul Adams (shooting), Georgina Friedrichs (rugby sevens).
Alumni: Michael Shelley (marathon), Shannon Parry (rugby sevens), Ash Gentle (triathlon), Deborah Acason (weightlifting), Katrin Garfoot (cycling), Chloe Hosking (cycling), Jake Fehlberg (lawn bowls, vision impaired), Tegan Napper (weightlifting), Murray Goodwin (athletics), Jordyn Holzberger (hockey), Sam Seghers (swimming), Michael Hosking (athletics).
Staff: Andrea Hams (weightlifting), Michael Bohl (swimming, coach).
Griffith Swimming Club: Madeline Groves, Grant Irvine, David McKeon.