Commonwealth Games Australia has tonight confirmed 51 athletes for Gold Coast 2018 (GC2018).

A total of 47 names have been added to the Australian Commonwealth Games team from this weekend’s 2018 Australian Athletics Championships & Nomination Trial, with four selected from the recent Australian 20km Race Walking Championships.

Australian Team Chef de Mission Steve Moneghetti welcomed the athletes on to the Australian Team.

“Over the last two weekends at the Australian Championships, we saw some amazing performances by our Australian athletes on the road and within track and field,” Moneghetti said.

“We have already welcomed the first 14 athletes on to the Australian Commonwealth Games Team, but it is incredibly exciting to welcome a further 51 athletes that have achieved an automatic nomination at Australian Championships.

“The Games are now only 44 days away and the team is getting stronger and stronger,” Moneghetti said.

The Gold Coast’s Sally Pearson (100m hurdles, Qld), is one of four athletes heading for their record equalling fourth Commonwealth Games. Pearson is keen to not be distracted by the pressure of competing on home ground.

“I feel exactly the same, yes it’s a home Games and that is exciting, but I don’t think like that,” she said.

“In my head it is just another race and this Commonwealth Games could be anywhere in the world, but it just happens to be here.

“I will be thinking like it’s in any stadium in the world. I don’t think I’ll get overwhelmed by the situation as I have a lot of experience under my belt.”

Joining Pearson is Kathryn Mitchell (javelin, Vic), Benn Harradine (discus, Qld) and Lauren Wells(ACT, 400m hurdles), each headed for a record-equalling fourth Commonwealth Games.

“To win a title and automatic selection is fantastic,” Wells said. “The Games are going to be incredible. As a 17-year-old I got to run at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006 and it’s still one of my favourite events and performances I have ever been in.”

Wells is looking for that elusive podium after finishing fourth at Delhi 2010 and Glasgow 2014.

Olympic bronze medallist, Dane Bird-Smith is another local athlete selected, courtesy of his win at the Australian 20km Race Walking Championships.

“Competing on the Gold Coast for a Commonwealth title is going to be the highlight of the year,” he said. “I can’t wait to get out on the road and feel the energy of the crowd lining the course. I know it will bring out the best in me.”

Reigning Commonwealth champions, Angie Ballard (T54 1500m), Dani Stevens (discus) and Sally Pearson (100m hurdles) will have a chance to defend their titles.

Queensland’s Matt Denny becomes the first athlete since Keith Pardon (NSW) in 1938 and 1950 to represent Australia in both the hammer and discus at the Commonwealth Games when he competes at Gold Coast 2018.

“Because I’ve done it all my life, it’s normal for me,” Denny said of his juggling act. “I love it. I’m one of the only people that can throw this far in both events in the world and we’ve got a lot more to do. I’m dispelling the myth that you can’t do two events and I enjoy proving people wrong.”

At age 17, Bendere Oboya (NSW) becomes the youngest Australian 400m athlete to be selected for the Games in that event. Another 17-year-old Riley Day (Qld), who won the national sprint double on the weekend, has been selected in the 200m.

Both Oboya and Day won gold at The Bahamas 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games.

Australian Commonwealth Games Athletics Team so far:

Alex Hartmann            200m
Alex Hulley                  Hammer
Angela Ballard            T54 1500m
Anneliese Rubie         400m
Beki Smith                   20km Walk
Bendere Oboya           400m
Benn Harradine           Discus
Brandon Starc             High Jump
Brianna Coop              T35 100m
Brittany McGowan      800m
Brooke Stratton           Long Jump
Cameron Crombe       F38 Shot Put
Cassie Purdon            High Jump
Cedric Dubler              Decathlon
Celeste Mucci             Heptathlon
Celia Sullohern           10,000 metres; 5000m
Chris Hamer               Marathon
Chris Mitrevski            Long Jump
Damien Birkinhead     Shot Put
Dane Bird-Smith         20km Walk
Dani Stevens              Discus Throw
Dave McNeill              5000m
Elizabeth Parnov        Pole Vault
Emmanuel Fakiye      Triple Jump
Erin Cleaver               T38 Long Jump
Evan O’Hanlon           T38 100 metres
Georgia Griffith           800m
Hamish Peacock        Javelin Throw
Ian Dewhurst              400m Hurdles
Isis Holt                       T35 100 metres
Jake Lappin                T54 1500m
James Nipperess        3000m Steeplechase
Jemima Montag          20km Walk
Jessica Trengrove      Marathon
Jordan Williamsz        1500m
Joshua Ralph              800m
Kathryn Mitchell          Javelin Throw
Kelsey-Lee Roberts    Javelin Throw
Kurtis Marschall          Pole Vault
Lauren Wells              400m Hurdles
Liam Adams               Marathon
Linden Hall                 1500m
Lisa Weightman         Marathon
Luke Mathews            800m
Madeline Hills             5000m
Madison Coates         200m
Madison de Rozario   T54 1500 metres
Matt Denny                 Hammer, Discus
Michael Shelley          Marathon
Michelle Jenneke       100m Hurdles
Morgan McDonald      5000m
Naa Anang                 Long Jump
Nicholas Hough         110m Hurdles
Nina Kennedy            Pole Vault
Patrick Tiernan           10,000 metres
Rhydian Cowley         20km Walk
Riley Day                    200m
Ryan Gregson            1500m
Sally Pearson             100m Hurdles
Stewart McSweyn      10,000 metres
Taryn Gollshewsky     Discus Throw
Trae Williams             100m
Victoria Mitchell          3000m steeplechase
Virginia Moloney         Marathon
Zoe Buckman             1500m


Cover photo by Ewa Facioni

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