The top international stars to watch at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
The top international stars to watch at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

10 international Games stars you can’t miss

Here are 10 international athletes to watch at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games:

Athletics: Caster Semenya (South Africa)

Few athletes will head in to the Commonwealth Games in better form than South African star Caster Semenya. The two-time 800m Olympic gold medallist (2008, 2012) dominated the recent South African national titles, claiming both the 800m and 1500m titles.

Semenya cruised to gold in the 800m, with her run of 1min 57.80sec officially her fastest time on South African soil. That stunning effort came after strong performances in the 800m heats and an equally impressive victory in the 1500m final (4min 10.68sec).

Caster Semenya claims gold in the 800m at the Rio Olympics. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Caster Semenya claims gold in the 800m at the Rio Olympics. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Her heroics at her home championships came as little surprise, with Semenya bringing home a bronze in the 1500m and more gold in the 800m at last year's world championships in London.

While Semenya will be a raging favourite to add to her glittering resume, the South African superstar will face some stiff competition from the likes of Ugandan hopeful Docus Ajok and Australia's 800m national women's champion Brittany McGowan.

Ajok (2min 0.02sec) and McGowan (2min 0.24sec) are owners of the third and fourth-best times in the 800m event this year, with New Zealand Angela Petty (2min 0.73sec) rounding out the top five.

This trio will certainly keep Semenya on her toes at the Gold Coast but with two times under two minutes this year alone it will take an incredible effort to dethrone South Africa's 800m queen.

Athletics/Triathlon: Beth Potter (Scotland)

Representing your country in one sport is impressive, two is special, but two in the one major Games is a whole new level.

Yet that's what awaits Scotland middle-distance runner and triathlete Beth Potter, who will make history on the Gold Coast when she becomes her nation's first to compete in two sports at the one Games.

Potter, who finished fifth in the 10,000m at the Glasgow Games, is back for another crack plus the triathlon.

The 26-year-old, representing Great Britain, was 34th in the 10,000m at the Rio Olympics. Since pursuing triathlon she has made such a dramatic improvement in her swim and bike disciplines she is prioritising the event over the track.

Her jam-packed schedule begins on April 5 with the individual triathlon (1.5km swim, 40km ride and 10km run), followed by the relay two days later. The 10,000m is scheduled for April 9.

Potter warmed up for the Games by racing the Mooloolaba World Cup on March 10 and finished eighth in the elite women's field.

Beth Potter. Picture: Getty Images
Beth Potter. Picture: Getty Images

 

Athletics: Elaine Thompson (Jamaica)

Elaine Thompson. Picture: AFP
Elaine Thompson. Picture: AFP

The top female sprinter in the world is coming to the Gold Coast. Jamaican sprinting megastar Elaine Thompson is poised to set the Commonwealth Games alight when she races the 100m, 200m and relays on the track.

The 25-year-old rose to prominence in 2015 when she was part of Jamaica's 4x100m relay gold medal-winning team at the world championships and hasn't looked back since.

By 2016 Thompson made her Olympic debut and could not have been more impressive, winning the 100m and 200m finals and silver in the 4x100m relay.

The Gold Coast will be her second Commonwealth Games after she went to Glasgow in 2014 but ran in the 4x100m heats only. With a 100m PB of 10.70sec, there is no doubting Thompson will be the one to beat at Carrara Stadium.

Chad Le Clos is gunning for the butterfly double. Picture: Getty Images
Chad Le Clos is gunning for the butterfly double. Picture: Getty Images

Swimming: Chad le Clos (South Africa)

South African superstar of the pool, le Close has been Olympic champion in the 200m butterfly and is more than capable of completing the 100m and 200m butterfly double on the Gold Coast, having completed the double in Glasgow in 2014.

At just 25, le Clos has won just about everything there is to win in his discipline, boasting four Olympic medals, four long-course world championship gold medals and nine at short-course level.

He shot to prominence in 2010 when he won five medals at the Youth Olympics in Singapore and two years later became Olympic champion in London in the 200m fly.

He admitted he was somewhat disappointed with his performances in Rio despite dead-heating with US superstar Michael Phelps for silver in the 100m fly which made him South Africa's most-decorated Olympian.

Adam Peaty shows off his gold after breaking the world record in Rio. Picture: AFP
Adam Peaty shows off his gold after breaking the world record in Rio. Picture: AFP

Swimming: Adam Peaty (England)

The English breaststroker is in for another medal haul at the Gold Coast Games as he enters competition as the reigning 100m Olympic champion following his efforts in Rio.

Peaty, 23, boasts a formidable trophy cabinet which includes five long-course world championship gold medals and two Commonwealth golds from Glasgow in 2014.

Peaty should win the 50m, 100m and maybe even the 200m breaststroke on the Gold Coast and will form part of England's relay teams which will make for a busy meet.

He is heading to Australia in ominous form after winning the 50m and 100m breaststroke double at the British championships in March.

Amazingly, Peaty did not take swimming seriously until he was 17 but four years later made his Olympic debut and returned from Rio with a gold and silver medal.

Tom Daley has the pedigree to make a splash. Picture: Getty Images
Tom Daley has the pedigree to make a splash. Picture: Getty Images

Diving: Tom Daley (England)

With nearly two million followers on Instagram, Daley is a British diver with a rock star reputation.

The 23-year-old is a three-time world champion and two-time Olympic bronze medallist who will team up with Dan Goodfellow to represent England at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

They tuned up for competition by winning a bronze medal in the 10m synchronised pairs event at the Diving World Series in Beijing in March and will be among the favourites for gold in Australia.

Daley became world champion for the first time in 2009 when he won the 10m platform at just 15 years of age.

The following year he won two gold medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi then took gold and silver at the Glasgow Games in 2014.

In red-hot form and knowing how to perform on the big stage, Daley and Goodfellow are primed for a big Games.

Alistair Brownlee has dominated world triathlon in recent years. Picture: Getty Images
Alistair Brownlee has dominated world triathlon in recent years. Picture: Getty Images

Triathlon: Alistair Brownlee (England)

The undisputed best triathlete in the world over the Olympic distance, Brownlee has dominated the discipline for the past six years, winning gold in both London in 2012 and Rio in 2016.

At 29, the older of the two Brownlee brothers is only just coming into his prime and the four-time world champion has plenty of time to add to his medal tally.

The race on the Gold Coast over a 1.5km swim, 20km ride and 5km run promises to be a cracker.

Brownlee and his brother Jonny will be joined by South Africans Henri Schoeman and Richard Murray on the start line making it the top four from Rio all going head-to-head at the Comm Games.

Brownlee's greatest strength is his run and if any of his rivals are going to upset him they will need at least a minute's head start by the time he racks his bike.

Then there's the teams event in which England will be almost unbeatable in.

Jamaican track star Yohan Blake training for the Games.
Jamaican track star Yohan Blake training for the Games.

Athletics: Yohan Blake (Jamaica)

Another superstar sprinter to emerge from Jamaica, Yohan Blake is carrying the hopes of a nation now that Usain Bolt has retired.

Blake, 28, was a prodigious talent as a junior and was formerly the youngest sprinter to ever crack the 10sec barrier when he was just 19.

He became a world champion for the first time in 2011 when he won gold in both the 100m and 4x100m relay.

The following year he went to the London Olympics where only Bolt could beat him in both the 100m and 200m finals.

After a series of hamstring injuries in the next few years, Blake eventually returned to his best and qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics where he ran fourth in the 100m final in a time of 9.93 sec and won gold in Jamaica's 4x100m relay.

His 100m PB of 9.69sec set at the London Olympics in 2012 remains the fastest-ever time behind Bolt who owns the world record of 9.572sec.

Canadian teen Penny Oleksiak became an instant star in Rio. Picture: AFP
Canadian teen Penny Oleksiak became an instant star in Rio. Picture: AFP

Swimming: Penny Oleksiak (Canada)

With Penny Oleksiak coming to town either get your tickets or make sure you're near a TV for the women's 100m freestyle final.

The Canadian, reigning Olympic champion in the sport's blue riband event, was just 16 she became her country's youngest-ever Olympic gold medallist and the first to win four medals in the one Games.

She will go head to head with Australia's golden girls Cate and Bronte Campbell, who will be desperate to avenge their disappointment from Rio two years ago, which should make for a cracking race.

Oleksiak (who doesn't turn 18 until June) won gold in the 100m freestyle, silver in the 100m butterfly and bronze in both the 4x100m and 4x200m freestyle relays at the Olympics and fittingly carried the Canadian flag in the closing ceremony.

A superstar on the rise, she will be the one to beat in the pool on the Gold Coast.

Kidambi Srikanth is a superstar of Indian sport. Picture: Getty Images
Kidambi Srikanth is a superstar of Indian sport. Picture: Getty Images

Badminton: Srikanth Kidambi (India)

You must be pretty good to beat India's much-loved cricketers for the nation's sportsperson of the year award but that's what badminton star Kidambi achieved in 2017.

Now he's heading to the Gold Coast. The 25-year-old won two world superseries titles in Indonesia and Australia last year then backed it up by winning the Denmark and French Opens.

Kidambi made a name for himself back in 2014 when he beat then Olympic champion Lin Dan in the China Open Super Series and in 2016 he won gold in the singles and teams events at the South Asian Games.

Described by one of his rivals as "the most complete player on tour", Kidambi will be one of the favourites for the gold medal on the Gold Coast as his star continues to rise.



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