A team of 111 will represent Australia in athletics at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The news, confirmed by Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA), following discussions with the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), is welcomed by Athletics Australia with CEO Darren Gocher saying that it is a great result for home-grown talent.
“We want to send as many Australian athletes as possible to a Commonwealth Games on Australian soil,” he said. “The greatest asset we have for the promotion of our sport is the performance of our athletes.
“I’m looking forward to the many stories that we will hear in the years to follow of how the Australian public have been inspired by our athletes’ performances at Gold Coast 2018. A home Games will bring out our best, and all 111 athletes will no doubt be determined to put on a show.”
The quota will be made up of 88 able-bodied and 23 para-athletes, an increase of 13 from the team for Glasgow, where 98 were selected.
CGA CEO Craig Phillips said that CGA is extremely pleased that the CGF have come to this decision, and that it will allow a larger and stronger Australian Team.
“The announcement allows us to support fielding a team that covers all ticketed competition sessions,” Phillips said.
“Further, it supports GOLDOC’s final ticket sales drive to fill the remaining seats.”
Triple Commonwealth Games gold medallist in the 4x400m relay, Tamsyn Manou (nee Lewis), made her debut at the 1994 Games. Manou said that having a larger team will bring many benefits to Australian athletes.
“What won’t be immediately obvious to people watching at home, on the side of the road or in the stadium is the camaraderie across this team,” she said. “Some athletes will achieve their goals; others won’t. The bigger the team, the better the support will be.
“Also, for a lot of our athletes who haven’t had the exposure at an international level, the Commonwealth Games is a fantastic opportunity to get that time in the spotlight and gain experience on a bigger stage.”
“It’s the Australian athletics teams of the future who will benefit most from having a team this size for Gold Coast 2018.”
Australian athletics team size at Commonwealth Games –
Manchester 2002: 76
Melbourne 2006: 118
Delhi 2010: 66
Glasgow 2014: 98