As the curtain comes down on six glorious nights at the Optus Aquatic Centre tonight, there is no shortage of talent vying for the spotlight.
Sprinter Riley Day, boxer Skye Nicolson and para athlete Madison de Rozario all make their first appearance at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) today, hoping to emulates the achievements of a host of Team Griffith swimmers.
They’ll also happily follow in the footsteps of Bachelor of Business student and Bachelor of Journalism graduate Kelsey Cottrell who was superb in helping Australia to its first Lawn Bowls gold of GC2018 yesterday. The win also took to 11 the number of gold medals won by Team Griffith athletes, with the total haul now 22.
A golden moment reminiscent of Pat Cash’s finest moment at Wimbledon crowned the winning performance in the final of the Lawn Bowls Women’s Fours in Broadbeach when Kelsey headed for the stands immediately after a gripping 18-16 win over South Africa was confirmed.
She was determined to share the moment with her baby Siena who came into the world only last August.
Kelsey (left) was in scintillating form in the lead role for the Jackaroos and now adds a gold to the bronze she claimed at the Delhi Games in 2010 and the silver she won in Glasgow four years ago.
The penultimate night in the Optus Aquatic Pool proved a bumper night Team Griffith swimmers who reeled in a total of five medals.
Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice student, Jessica Ashwood, took out Team Griffith’s only silver of the night in the Women’s 800m Freestyle Final, and was closely followed by Bachelor of Exercise Science student, Kiah Melverton, to claim bronze behind superstar on the rise Ariarne Titmus.
There were also bronze medals for hardworking Public Health students, Georgia Bohl in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke Final and Emma McKeon who collected her fifth medal of the Games in the Women’s 200m Butterfly Final.
Gritty Grant Irvine, a member of Griffith Swim Club , secured his first medal of a busy Games in the Men’s 100m Butterfly Final when he stayed on to take bronze.
Red hot finale
In a scorching hot Women’s 100m Freestyle Final, won by Bronte Campbell, Business student Shayna Jack touched the wall in fourth place.
Leiston Pickett, Bachelor of Commerce student, was another to miss out on a medal finishing sixth in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke Final.
Bachelor of Science (Advanced Honours) student Cameron McEvoy once more put himself in medal contention by qualifying for the Men’s 50m Freestyle tonight.
Jessica Ashwood will also be hoping to be poolside later tonight, provided she can qualify from this morning’s heats of the Women’s 400m Freestyle. On the last night of swimming action, other finals of note include the Men’s and Women’s 4 x 100m Medley Relay and the Men’s 1500m Freestyle.
In athletics, Sport Management student John Lane (left) endured a full-on day of Decathlon action at Carrara Stadium, completing the first five disciplines to try and keep in touch with Canada’s Damian Warner who leads the way. Today will start with the 110m Hurdles at 10.05am followed by the discus, pole vault, javelin and 1500m.
In her fifth Games, Deborah Acason narrowly missed out on another medal in the 90+kg category on the final day of Weightlifting. The double degree graduate finished in fourth place at the Carrara Sports Arena. In the shooting at Belmont, Paul Adams narrowly missed out on last night’s final. The Business student advanced his position from day one but finished seventh, just out of the six qualifying places.
In the hockey, Australia resisted a late onslaught from New Zealand at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre last night in a 0-0 draw, meaning alumnus Jordyn Holzberger and the Hockeyroos will avoid the big guns in the semi-finals with a win over Scotland tonight (9.30pm).
In basketball, postgraduate finance student Jesse Wagstaf and the Boomers booked a semi-final berth with last night’s 97-55 win over Nigeria and will now wait to see who emerges from the qualifying finals.
At the Games today
Two stars of athletics will take to the track at Carrara Stadium today. Griffith University and Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Scholarship recipient, Riley Day (right), makes her entry in the heats of the Women’s 200m from 12.20pm. Then tonight, in the Women’s T54 (Wheelchair) 1500m Final (8.05pm), it’s the turn of double Rio silver medalist and Griffith business student, Madi de Rozario.
Rising star of boxing Skye Nicolson will make her eagerly awaited first appearance at GC2018 in the Women’s 57kg weight division of the boxing. The Bachelor of Public Relations and Communication student bids for a medal in her quarter-final with Cameroon’s Christelle Aurore Ndiang at Oxenford Studios (12.32pm)
With track action at the Anna Meares Velodrome now complete, the cycling attention next turns to the road where two Griffith graduates are part of a six-strong Australian Women’s Road Race team. Delhi Games bronze medalist Chloe Hosking is a Bachelor of Communication graduate; Katrin Garfoot completed a Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education at Griffith.
The Women’s Individual Time Trial starts at Currumbin Beachfront today at 2.45pm, with the Women’s Road Race to follow on Saturday. Chloe Hosking remains a slight doubt coming into GC2018 after a crash in the Tour of Flanders left her bruised and hospitalised at the start of the month.
At Broadbeach Lawn Bowls, Kelsey Cottrell will be aiming to build on yesterday’s Fours excitement when Australia take on minnows Niue in round two and Malta in round three of the Women’s Pairs. Today is also semi-final day in the Mixed Pairs (vision impaired) where Business graduate Jake Fehlberg will team up with Lynne Seymour and try to reverse yesterday’s defeat to Scotland.
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.