Your arm­chair guide to the COM­MON­WEALTH GAMES

In just three days, the quest for gold and glory be­gins in Queens­land. Here’s ev­ery­thing you need to know

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Body and Soul - - COMMONWEALTH GAMES -

O ver the next 11 days, 6000 ath­letes from 70 coun­tries will com­pete for gold on the Gold Coast. So, how will this year’s Com­mon­wealth Games stack up against past events, and will we fin­ish with a truck­load of medals?

Aus­tralia is de­ter­mined to top the medal tally this year, af­ter fin­ish­ing sec­ond to Eng­land at the 2014 Games in Glas­gow, then hav­ing a dis­ap­point­ing per­for­mance at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Our coun­try has won more Games medals than any other since the event’s in­cep­tion in 1930, so the pres­sure is real. But our strong team of com­peti­tors are up to the task. Aus­tralia is set to dom­i­nate in the swim­ming and cy­cling, as al­ways, but there are plenty of other sports in which we have gold-medal con­tenders, too, in­clud­ing box­ing, beach vol­ley­ball, hockey, rugby sevens and net­ball.

There will also be a lot of his­toric firsts at these Games. Beach vol­ley­ball and women’s rugby sevens make their de­but ap­pear­ances, plus, for the first time in Games his­tory, there will be the same num­ber of medals for women and men.

Para-sports con­tinue to grow in pop­u­lar­ity, with more medals on of­fer than at any pre­vi­ous games. The para-ath­letes will com­pete in ath­let­ics, swim­ming, lawn bowls, pow­er­lift­ing, cy­cling, ta­ble ten­nis and triathlon, with all events in­te­grated into a uni­fied Games sched­ule.

The Gold Coast is putting its fa­mous shore­line front and cen­tre, with beach vol­ley­ball be­ing held at Coolan­gatta Beach and the triathlon and marathon events tak­ing place around the Broad­wa­ter Park­lands. It’s also in­vested heav­ily in up­grades to the Car­rara Sta­dium precinct, which will host the ath­let­ics and open­ing/clos­ing cer­e­monies, while the re­cently com­pleted Coomera In­door Sports Cen­tre will bring ex­tra shine to the gym­nas­tics and net­ball.

All in all, we’ll be treated to top-class ath­letes, a gor­geous lo­ca­tion and a viewer-friendly time zone – the per­fect combo for arm­chair en­thu­si­asts.

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